GOBABIS – Gobabis informal settlement residents will start paying the municipality a monthly occupational fee of N$50, town CEO Ignatius Thidunyane announced this week.
According to Thudinyane, the growing population in the informal settlements promoted the decision. He said the town’s population stands at 25 000 of which 8 000 reside in the informal settlements, while the remaining 17 000 are from the formalised areas. According to the CEO, out of the 17 000 formal settlement residents, only 5 000 are municipal account holders, which means thousands are not contributing to the municipality’s revenue. He said efforts were made to generate revenue, which includes increasing tariffs and charges for the current municipal account holders, disconnecting services for those that owe the municipality as well handing over residents who are in arrears.
The consumer debt is currently standing at N$50 million. Apart from charging informal areas, he said plans are being made to come up with additional revenue sources that would ensure the smooth running of the municipality and the unhindered provision of services for the residents. Other interventions made include the Flexible Land Tenure System (FLTS), which is a way of giving land ownership to the residents of the informal settlements. Thudinyane said this process has already started in Freedom Square informal settlement, and would be rolled out to the rest of the informal settlements in the near future.
He added that as a town, Gobabis’ strongest area is logistics, and there have been meetings with the business community who have shown keen interest in warehousing, trucking and other business ventures. However, the cumbersome town planning processes that can be attributed to outdated acts remain a big challenge of allocating land to investors. To further address the common complaint of unsatisfactory customer services from the clients, the municipality has put into place a Customer Service Charter, which is in alignment with its strategic objectives.
2020-02-06 07:48:58 | 17 days ago