• July 19th, 2019
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Social grant-dependent southern villages battling bills



KEETMANSHOOP – With joblessness and poverty out of hand at Berseba, Tses, Bethanie, Koes and Aroab in the //Kharas Region, government’s monthly social grants in these localities are fast emerging as a vital cog in sustaining their village councils.

This is according to an observation by //Kharas Regional Governor Lucia Basson, who placed unemployment on top of the list of the biggest challenges facing the country’s biggest region.

According to Basson, the five villages are economically inactive – a situation that only helped perpetuate the misery of unemployment, which in turn has given birth to swathes of poverty and hopelessness.
Water and power disconnects by utilities NamWater and NamPower have become regular occurrences at the villages as a result of non-payment of these services by councils.

“The people are too poor to pay,” said Basson. “There’s nothing going on in those villages to help employ people so that they in turn can pay the village councils for services rendered to them. In the end, councils cannot pay NamWater and NamPower for water and electricity. In the end, water and electricity are disconnected,” the governor added.

She said the main source of income for households in these villages was government social grants – extended monthly to the elderly, vulnerable children and the disabled. “Social grants are carrying those villages and we have to thank government that they have such a scheme. The situation could have been worse than it already is,” Basson told New Era yesterday in Keetmanshoop. “In some households, you have both elderly couple receiving old-age pension and a number of orphans that they are taking care of. At the end of the month, the combined amount received in social grants can reach N$5000. A part of this is then used to settle rates and taxes of the village councils.” The governor said in responding to this situation, an investment conference is being organised for September this year where businesses would be encouraged to set up shop at these villages to help stimulate growth of the local economies.


Staff Reporter
2019-03-05 09:30:56 4 months ago

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