WINDHOEK– The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture has sealed a deal with the City of Windhoek (CoW) to pay N$30 million by Thursday to have water and electricity supply reconnected at some Windhoek schools.
This follows CoW’s threats last week to disconnect the water supply at various schools in Windhoek because of unpaid bills amounting to over N$55 million.
Such huge debts backdate as far as two years ago, which led the CoW to cut water and power at certain schools on Wednesday.
The affected schools are Auas Primary School, Tobias Hainyeko Primary School, Concordia College, A.Shipena Secondary School, Windhoek High School, Windhoek Technical School, Dagbreek and Namibia Primary School.
On Thursday, Khomas regional education director Gerard Vries said the government together with the CoW were working around the clock to ensure that water and power disconnections to nine schools in Windhoek were restored.
The two parties on the same day agreed to have water and electricity reconnected at the affected schools provided payment arrangements were made.
The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture executive director, Sanet Steenkamp, said in efforts to get the services reconnected, the ministry held discussions with the CoW on the matter of the outstanding N$55 million.
From the discussions, she revealed, an agreement was reached and an amount of N$30 million would be effected by Thursday (August 8).
It was also agreed that the remaining amount of N$25 million would be settled in equal installments of N$5 million, additional to the ongoing monthly invoices.
“The reached agreement will see the reconnection of services at the affected schools … ensuring that teaching and learning at schools will continue uninterrupted as a result of the repayment agreement reached between the ministry and City of Windhoek,” she noted.
In January, the Khomas education directorate had also appealed to the CoW not to cut water and electricity supply to 123 public schools due to non-payment.
Since water and power disconnections started at some schools, school management has resorted to sending learners who reside in the hostels home due to the inconveniences caused.
Schools have been unable to provide services to learners such as food due to lack of water and power.
Vries had confirmed that the issue of power and water disconnections would negatively impact hostels.
However, he denied that any learners, many of whom are busy with their exams, were sent home because of the disruptions. He said if any learners were sent home, then it was done without the ministry’s authorisation.
2019-08-05 06:48:58 18 days ago