The City of Windhoek recorded an income of about N$4 billion for the 2020/21 period, which is a decrease from N$4.5 billion during the 2019/20 period. This was stated by Jenny Comalie, recently appointed as the city’s acting CEO, during her presentation as finance executive at the fifth Windhoek mayoral business forum held last week.
“June 2021 numbers showed a drop in the city revenue from a direct impact of Covid-19. Businesses shutting down and people moving to villages has affected the demand for our services significantly. At the moment, the city is quite challenged with the financial cash flow and also to manage the critical infrastructure projects. There are a lot of plans for us to kick start what has been outstanding,” stated Comalie.
She noted the city is very much aware of the struggle residents are going through to honour the city’s services, so increasing rates and taxes is not an option but finding alternatives of reducing costs while increasing production. According to her, expenditure for 2020/21 stood at N$4.5 billion representing a decrease from N$4.6 billion in 2019/20 period. Completed building plans for 2020/21 recorded a decline as it stood at a total of 1 744 from a total 2 012 in the 2019/20 year. At the same occasion, Windhoek mayor Job Amupanda said Covid-19 did not only negatively affect the domestic and local economies, but also exposed existing challenges and weaknesses within the economy. “There has been a tremendous and shocking loss of lives and jobs. We as a city of residents and businessmen and women must come together and strategically work towards improving on and implementing recovery options. I cannot stress enough that there must be, more than ever before, closer collaboration between the private and public sector, pulling together to achieve sustainable recovery of our local city economy,” Amupanda stated.
He continued that Covid-19 is here to stay and will impact lives and businesses intermittently over the years to come: “We have to consider reforms that will expedite economic growth and recovery and I look forward to hearing from the private sector about innovative high-level ideas and practical interventions for the local economy amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.”
According to Amupanda, the Windhoek Economic Indices show that disposable income has reduced over the past 18 months, that household debt increased as a result of the pandemic and families still struggle to cope with the impact of the virus on their livelihoods and ultimately so do businesses and local authorities.