Grootfontein-Residents, businesses and government departments have a combined debt of N$70 million they owe the Grootfontein Municipality, which accrued from unpaid water bills, rates and taxes.
About 20 percent of the debt is said to stem from the pre-independence era.
The municipality said if residents do not come forward in settling their debts it will put council in a predicament whereby it will be unable to continue providing quality services, thus it strongly implored every debtor to come forward and settle their municipal bills.
One of the notable government entities with a huge debt and whose water has been disconnected is the army base under the Ministry of Defence which owes N$3 million.
“We have been issuing notices to residents, business people and government entities for them to make payments and council has taken a resolution that until Friday everyone with outstanding debts should come forward and make payments or arrangements on how they will settle the bill. After the Friday deadline the municipality will embark on disconnecting water for such people,” said the municipal spokesman Luke Salomo.
“We have been very lenient with our clients but they are not forthcoming, even though we considered the economic downturn experienced in the country. Now it is the time that we need to balance our books so that we can continue serving our people and for the institution to get going. Imagine, now it is the rainy season, vegetation around town has grown and needs to be de-bushed; roads are damaged and washed away, hence the need for refurbishing. All these undertakings require money,” added Salomo.
He however reminded the community that leniency will only be given to those that approach the municipality to arrange payments.
“This is a year of implementation and council is very serious about executing its planned projects, hence also finding ways to recoup some funds to be used for such purposes since funding from the line ministry is insufficient for our smooth operations,” stressed Salomo.