Ongwediva-Eenhana Town Council has dedicated a chunk of its 2017/18 budget to housing and land for the poor, availing N$37.5 million from the budget allocation to capital development at the town.
Mayor Amos Nangolo said the budget had been carefully crafted to make a difference to the lives of the town’s residents by addressing the urgent housing shortages and eradicating poverty.
“I can, however, assure the residents that we have taken measures to consolidate our resources and cut non-essential expenditure items in order to focus on the most pertinent issues facing us daily, especially the need for serviced land and provision of housing for the poor,” Nangolo said.
The budget was presented under the theme ‘Rising above challenges to address socio-economic inequalities’. For the 2017/18 year, Eenhana Town Council put forward an N$89.2 million budget, of which about 35 percent was allocated to operational expenditure.
Council had reduced its capital expenditure by more than 43.12 percent, but the budget surplus had also been reduced from 21.7 percent last year to 1.11 percent this year.
Nangolo said the demand for housing and business erven continue to outgrow supply. Hence, to address the housing challenges, council entered into public-private partnership to accelerate housing delivery at the town and to service the promised 6,500 plots by 2020.
Developments at Omhito Extensions 2 and 3, as well as Extension 6 are reported to be progressing well.
In its quest to improve the living conditions of its residents, council further reduced unproductive capital spending, thus enabling them to cap their tariffs at 42 percent.
“Otherwise we would have ballooned to a more than N$60 percent increase and put pressure on our residents’ finances via debt servicing costs, as well as jeopardising our investment rating, which is currently flourishing,” Nangolo remarked.
About N$6.8 million of the municipal budget will be spent on the maintenance of sewerage reticulation and road networks, as well as power supply.