Government ministries owe City of Windhoek millions

WINDHOEK: Government ministries, agencies and corporations owe the City of Windhoek (CoW) millions of dollars for basic services rendered, pushing the municipality into a deficit of N.dollars 369 million.

The CoW’s Strategic Executive for Finance, Deon Gerber said during a breakfast meeting here on Monday that the Ministries of Health and Social Services and Education are just some of the ministries which owe the municipality millions of dollars.

Gerber said this time last year, the deficit stood at N.dollars 400 million.

He further stated that the City has approved an increase in the electricity tariff of 9.2 per cent and water tariff of 15 per cent.

‘This is based on various factors such as the current inflation rate which stands at 6.1 per cent, and prime interest rate of 9.75 per cent,” he stated.

The other factors include the unemployment rate of 27 per cent, and rural-urban migration of over four per cent.

Gerber said relevant stakeholders such as the Khomas Regional Council, the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) and the Windhoek Ratepayers’ Association were consulted on the budget estimates.

The City Council last Thursday approved the municipality’s total budget of N.dollars 4.1 billion for the 2014/15 financial year.

A total of N.dollars 132 million has been allocated to new capital projects, N.dollars 435 million to ongoing projects and N.dollars 3.4 billion to the operational budget.

Gerber furthermore indicated that projects to be funded for the 2014/15 financial year include the upgrading of the Gammams Water-Care Works at a cost of N.dollars 30.5 million; sanitation for informal settlements at a cost of N.dollars 7 million; tarring of roads and new arterials (N.dollars 46 million); fire stations and equipment (N.dollars 16 million); market upgrades (N.dollars 4 million); and crematorium upgrades (N.dollars 13 million).

Currently, the CoW has recorded outstanding debts of over N.dollars 390 million.