WALVIS Bay residents can breathe a sigh of relief after the town council resolved to write off the outstanding debt of pensioners, the interest on debt of other residents, as well as extend the amnesty period for businesses.
This was announced on Wednesday during a public meeting at Tutaleni, Kuisebmond.
Walvis Bay mayor Trevino Forbes said the relief aims to assist residents during tough economic times.
Forbes noted that pensioner debt will only be written off if they are registered and residing on the property.
The council also resolved to build a desalination plant at the town, to provide water at a lower cost to residents.
However, he said they are experiencing some challenges with the central government in terms of obtaining the relevant permits.
He, however, urged residents to continue paying their accounts.
“This is money we need in order to provide other services such as road maintenance, fixing of potholes, and upgrading of the sewer system just to mention a few.”
Walvis Bay residents currently owe the municipality a total of N$265 million, with Walvis Bay urban owing N$96 million, Meersig N$15 million, Narraville N$22 million, Kuisebmond N$100 million, Dolphin Beach N$22 million and Langstrand N$7 million.
“If you have a house and have a prepaid water meter, you must still pay rates and taxes. The problem you face is if your water is cut off, then you do not know why, it is because your rates and taxes are high, you never paid them,” he said.
The municipality must pay NamWater about N$10 million every month, he said.
“This money must be paid every month. Failure to do so will result in NamWater no longer supplying water to our town,” he said.
The council is also looking into purchasing water vending machines, which would provide water to residents when the municipality is closed over weekends.
“We had a few presentations. This is something we really want to do. It doesn’t help to say the place is open, then people prepare themselves to buy but the place is closed. The problem is, you perhaps receive your salary late on Friday or Saturday. You want to buy water and now you sit with that problem because you cannot buy water. We are aware of that and are working towards a solution,” Forbes said.