Landless People’s Movement (LPM) parliamentarian Henny Seibeb on Tuesday moved two separate motions that seek to address strategies to permanently write off water and electricity debts of local authorities.
Local authorities are reportedly owing about N$1 billion to NamWater and over N$807 million to NamPower.
Last year, NamPower threatened to cut electricity to LPM-run towns and villages such as Maltahöhe, Bethanie, Gibeon, Koës, Tses, Leonardville, Kalkrand, Stampriet, Karasburg and Aranos.
This infuriated LPM leader Bernadus Swartbooi, who at the time claimed that the cutting of electricity to the southern towns and villages was an attempt by the ruling Swapo to discredit his party.
Other local authorities were Witvlei, Rehoboth, Okahandja, and Gobabis. Seibeb, moving the motion in parliament that seeks to address strategies to permanently write off all water debts, said the inability of particular municipalities to honour debt payments has been a thorn in the flesh of local government administration and continued commodification of natural resources, such as water provision, in a new form of impoverishment of the commons.
“The motion seeks to address strategies to permanently write-off all water debts of the commons, more especially senior citizens, destitute/poverty –stricken, unemployed residents,” he said.
“This motion seeks to locate strategies to address the bad debts (non-recoverable) at local authorities,” Seibeb said, urging the motion to be referred to the relevant parliamentary committee for further investigation.