The Khorixas Town Council faces enormous outstanding water debts monthly due to non-payment by residents, government offices, ministries and agencies as well as the business community at large.
The town’s CEO Andreas |Howoseb said a number of residents are failing to honour outstanding water debts every month since the outbreak of Covid-19 reported in March 2020. Due to non-payments, he said, the council’s daily operations are severely affected as outstanding water debts from council’s clients have increased drastically.
According to him, the council’s NamWater debt has been increasing because of not receiving payment for water and other municipal services. By March 2021, businesses owed the council about N$3 million for water, while N$10.1 million is owed for municipal services.
The education ministry’s debt for water stood at N$488 000 and N$5.3 million for other municipal services. The health ministry owes over N$127 000 for water and N$3.1 million for other municipal services. Meanwhile, other government institutions owe a combined amount of N$1.3 million for water and N$3 million for other municipal services.
The continuous non-payment of municipal services has also affected overall employees whose monthly salaries are often delayed. During February and May alone, salaries were delayed as the council’s daily operations were severely affected. In an interview with New Era, |Howoseb said since the Covid-19 outbreak, the payments by both residents and institutions have been very slow for services rendered.
“All employees were paid their salaries for May. These services are carried out on a cost-recovery basis.” |Howoseb noted council has always been able to commit to its obligations in terms of the financials to its employees, saying the livelihoods of the workers are secured. Further, he assured the bills and mortgages have always been honoured over the years.
“There has not been a crisis at the moment. All institutions, as well as residents and businesses, are legally obligated to pay for the municipal services,” he indicated.