The Grootfontein municipality is calling upon residents to settle their municipal bills or face water disconnections as the financially embattled council struggles to provide adequate services.
Residents owe the municipality N$140 million and mayor Lovisa Iyambo says this debt is derailing council’s efforts in accelerating service delivery due to lack of income. Iyambo further blamed the poor revenue system within the finance department as another element that contributed to the soaring debt.
“The department was in a mess with no plans and reinforcement to ensure regular revenue collection; they failed,” she lamented.
“We are asking the community to make payment, as it makes no sense to demand better services yet they not playing their role. Council is forever running short due to insufficient revenue collection,” she reiterated.
“We will disconnect all those in arrears. These are not recent debts but dating back to previous years. So, the Covid-19 pandemic should not be used as an excuse,” responded the mayor when asked why they would consider such drastic action, as access to clean water is a necessity under Covid-19.
Grootfontein has been providing free water to impoverished communities; however, this generous gesture has come to haunt its operations.
“The municipality is cognisant of the economic hardship due to the Covid-19 pandemic; however, the municipality can only continue to provide services when residents honour their monthly accounts obligation. Failure to that will not be able to provide desired basic needs,” reads part of the notice issued last week.