KEETMANSHOOP - The Keetmanshoop municipality has since last Friday and upon instruction from the town’s council started to reconnect the water supply of residents who are in arrears.
In a public notice issued by the CEO Desmond Basson, it has been stated that council instructed these reconnections, but simultaneously for the disconnection of residents’ conventional electricity supply.
“Keetmanshoop residents are herewith informed that the municipality will start disconnecting conventional electricity supply and block the prepaid electricity meters of those customers who did not pay their current water accounts by Monday, 20 September 2021,” read the statement.
It also stated that customers will have to, in addition to settling their current water accounts, pay an agreed am0unt upon instalment on any arrears before their electricity supply will be restored.
“This procedure will be executed after the seventh of every month,” Basson said in the statement.
In a media release last Friday, Keetmanshoop’s deputy mayor Charlycta Cooper expressed her dissatisfaction over the protest and handing over of the petition by the concerned group last week.
“On 15 September 2021, Percy Charlies, spokesperson of the concerned group, informed the mayor, Maree Smit, verbally of their intention to protest and [the] handing over of the petition, whereby Smit informed him through the public relations officer (PRO) to put their request in writing and handed it over during working hours,” Cooper explained.
The deputy mayor also raised the concern that the seven days for response was not stated in the said petition.
“Upon receiving the petition last week Thursday, it was remarked that ‘this has never happened before’, creating the impression that this unfortunate incident can be placed at the door of the Landless Peoples Movement (LPM) majority council entirely, which is neither an honest or correct statement,” she strongly objected.
Cooper appealed to all parties to desist from making use of such platforms to push political agendas with such divisive statements and rather try to find amicable solutions collectively that are in the interest of Keetmanshoop and its residents.
Meanwhile, Charlies informed New Era that he and the local organising committee of the LPM had a meeting yesterday, discussing the way forward on the said disconnection of conventional electricity supply and blocking of prepaid electricity meters of those customers who did not pay their current water accounts.
“We did issue a directive to Council not to execute the disconnection of electricity supply to residents for now and first want feedback on the petition handed over last week to Council through the CEO before any disconnections can be allowed,” he then explained.
The spokesperson also said should they not get feedback from council within the expected seven-day period, which is due this Thursday, they will then take further actions accordingly.
“We understand they (council) are in a workshop until Thursday but will now inform the Namibian Police in the //Kharas region of our intentions to stage another peaceful demonstration this coming Friday, protesting against the disconnection of those residents’ conventional electricity supply and the blocking of their electricity prepaid meters,” Charlies concluded.
Efforts to get comment from council proved futile, as all members and the spokesperson are attending a workshop in town.