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RedForce services crucial to Rundu - CEO

2021-12-17  John Muyamba

RedForce services crucial to Rundu - CEO

RUNDU – Rundu Town Council CEO Olavi Nathanael says the objective of collecting more revenue than council currently receives remains crucial, hence the importance of a debt collector.

Council enlisted the services of RedForce to collect debt on its behalf as it lacks resources to perform the debt collection service itself.

From January to the end of August 2021, the debt collector garnered N$41 052 076.81.

“The need of enlisting the service of a debt collector came as a result of most residents not honouring their obligations with the council,” he said.

In September, some Rundu residents protested against the town council contracting a debt collector. The CEO told New Era at the time that residents invited RedForce to their town by continuously defaulting, and they should thus look in the mirror to find the culprit.

In a response letter sent to governor Bonifatius Wakudumo and seen yesterday by this reporter regarding the September demonstration demands, the council said the service of debt collection was outsourced to RedForce because council doesn’t have sufficient resources to compel debtors to pay what is due to council since efforts to recover debts internally have proven futile, and the debts kept accumulating. The Rundu Town Council provides services to its residents, but residents do not honour their obligations with council.

The petitioners had stated that the town council failed to engage residents before considering contracting a third party. However, the council responded that during the financial year 2019/2020, council engaged the residents and encouraged them to pay their municipal accounts through an amnesty campaign for nine months via local media. However, that campaign did not yield any success.

Council then called for reputable debt collection companies to submit their proposals. 

“The Rundu Town Council placed adverts in two local print media outlets, where it informed residents of the appointment of Red Force Debt Management CC as a debt collector on behalf of the council,” said the response from the mayor’s office.

The CEO reiterated that residents
should allow the debt collectors to do their job.

“It is also important to note that the staff structure (organogram) is approved by the minister, considering factors such as affordability and the category of council in line with Section 3, Schedule 2 of the Local Authorities Act, Act 23 of 1992, as amended,” he explained.

“Council operates on a cost-recovery basis. That means that for council to render effective services to the residents, the residents have to pay for the services that the Rundu Town Council renders. Therefore, services will improve if all the inhabitants inculcate the habit of honouring their obligations with the council timeously,’’ he noted.

Nathanael told New Era that at the end of November 2021, residents, including institutions, still owed the council over N$300 million. Council itself as of November 2021 owed NamWater N$120 million.

Petitioners said during their demonstration that they have yet to see the benefits of RedForce since it started. 

“Nothing has improved. In fact, things got even worse because water is cut off more than ever before”, they charged.

Council, in their response sent through to the governor, reiterated that the contributing factors to the water cuts are the issue of residents not honouring their obligations with the council, the ageing infrastructure that causes water leakages, as well as the illegal connection of water. 

“We, therefore, encourage all the residents in town to desist from connecting water illegally. We furthermore urge residents to pay their bills with council timeously as well as to report any water leakages and/or illegal connections that they observe,’’ the council responded.


2021-12-17  John Muyamba

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