Promises made by the Keetmanshoop Municipality to Ileni residents have proven just that as homes in this impoverished residential area will remain without electricity because the municipality has now changed its tune saying it does not have money to fulfil its promises.
In typical political fashion in August this year, Keetmanshoop mayor Gaudentia Krohne during a meeting with the residents said residents who have been allocated serviced erven will also be provided with electricity before the end of 2016, but the municipality has now backed down on that promise citing financial constraints, much to the dismay of displeased residents.
Keetmanshoop Municipality CEO Desmond Basson told New Era the municipality will not be able to keep its promise, as it is not in a financial position to be able to extend electricity services to Ileni residents as the mayor had promised in August.
“Unfortunately I will have to go back to the community and tell them that this will possibly not happen; it will not happen due to the budget cuts,” he stated.
He explained the municipality had earlier on planned to provide electricity to a number of households to the tune of N$4 million, but this is now not possible as only N$3 million is at the municipality’s disposal, which he says is not enough for the electrification project.
Basson said the municipality was counting on government’s assistance in this regard and about N$8 million was supposed to be provided by central government, but due to the current economic situation, the municipality only received N$3 million, making provision of electricity to residents impossible.
Some residents that New Era spoke to were disappointed that they will remain without electricity, saying it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, while some were not so disappointed saying they have seen it coming as this is not the first time the municipality has failed on its sugar-coated promises for a better life that continues to elude them.
“We were looking forward to getting electricity in our houses too, and it’s a pity that is not possible and we continue to use firewood and candles,” said Immanuel Samuse.
Titus Moses, who has been a resident here for five years, said he is disappointed that once more the municipality is failing its residents, adding that residents have now become used to the fact that the municipal councillors just say things at meetings but these developments are rarely realised.
“Well I need electricity so of course I am disappointed, but shouldn’t we have expected this? It has happened before when our leaders couldn’t keep their word,” he said.