CoW calls on central govt to subsidise water and electricity

WINDHOEK: The Windhoek City Council has called on central government to subsidise drinking water and electricity in order to keep these services affordable.

The chairperson of the City of Windhoek (CoW)’s Management Committee, Moses Shiikwa made the call when he tabled the City’s budget estimates of N.dollars 4.1 billion for the 2014/15 financial year during the monthly City Council meeting on Thursday.

“I wish to reiterate that in order to keep water and electricity affordable commodities, at least for the poorer members of our society, central government should subsidise drinking water and electricity in our country,” he said.

Shiikwa further asked that prior to approval of Namibia Power Corporation (NamPower) and Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater) tariff increases, broader consultation with local authorities and relevant stakeholders should take place.

“I must further mention that it is painful for us as local authority councillors to pass on tariff increases to our residents, most of who cannot afford it. Hence we appeal for national intervention in order to control and harmonise the burden of the cost of water and electricity on our residents,” he said.

Shiikwa said for this budget, the first six cubic metres of water to domestic consumers will be supplied at a subsidised tariff which is lower than the NamWater tariff.

NamPower has obtained approval from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to increase the bulk water tariff by 75 per cent over a three-year period as from 2012.

“Equally, I am also pleased to mention that there are no increase on basic charges and communal water stand pipe tariffs,” he said.