Windhoek Runs Up N$369 Million Deficit

The Windhoek Municipality risks facing further financial troubles if does not implement stricter cost control and savings measures after running up a N$369 million budget deficit for the previous financial year.

The announcement was made when the City Council approved its N$4,1 billion budget for 2015, of which a huge chunk will be used for the operations of the municipality.

“The Management Committee further directs the chief executive director and staff of the City of Windhoek to implement strict cost control and savings measures to reduce this deficit, and to work tirelessly to broaden the revenue base of the city,” Management Committee Chairperson Moses Shiikwa said when presenting the budget last Thursday evening.

The city council will focus on land because for the past decade the shortage of serviced land, both for housing and commercial development, has been a challenge.

Of the total budget, N$3,5 billion will go to the operational budget and the remaining N$567 million was allocated to capital expenditure. For capital expenditure, N$436 million will fund ongoing projects whilst the remaining N$131 million is earmarked for new projects.

Shiikwa said operation costs continue to escalate.

Residents will also have to dig deeper into their pockets for sewerage service, water, property tax, household refuse removal, electricity, and solid waste management.

Shiikwa said the tariff adjustments are aimed at reducing the budget deficit.

The City Council, as from tomorrow, will effect its 9,2 percent electricity tariff adjustment, which it says was prompted by NamPower’s decision to increase its electricity tariffs by 13,22 percent.

Water will increase by 10 percent.

Shiikwa appealed to the residents to understand the council has no control over tariff increases on water and electricity.

“It is important to note that the water account of the city is run on cost recovery principles, and an increase in bulk water principles (by NamWter) can only be recovered from the end user through the raising of tariffs by the council,” he said.

Source : New Era