Africa-Press – Namibia. TheKeetmanshoop Municipality says it recommended various measures aimed at easing the financial burden of ratepayers when preparing the proposed budget for the 2022/2023 financial year.
During a community meeting last week, CEO Desmond Basson said “through this intervention, if approved by the Urban and Rural Development Minister, council strives to make it more feasible for our customers (ratepayers) to honour their bilateral agreements with us as the basic service provider by paying their monthly accounts accordingly”.
The CEO stated that although the Electricity Control Board recommended an increase of 9.4% on the provision of electricity charges, council will, however, propose to increase its tariffs with an average 9.1% only for the next financial year.
“Steep tariffs previously charged to residents using more than 20 cubic meters of water monthly will also be abolished in future as another financial relief measure is recommended for the benefit of our consumers, whilst surcharges on new and reconnected water supply services, building plans and building inspections will remain unchanged,” he explained.
Basson said provision has
likewise been made in the budget proposal to purchase 1 000 prepaid water meters.
“These meters will be sold to residents, from which income derived will be utilised to purchase more units,” he added.
The CEO then sent out a strong warning to those illegally connecting water and electricity services in that they will in future be slapped with a fine of N$10 000 for very time they make themselves guilty of such practices.
“Council will onwards be forced to charge for public services where transport will be involved,” he said.
The provision of traffic escort services for funerals will now be charged at a flat rate of N$250 per occasion, as these officers should be paid overtime allowances when providing these services.
Basson informed that raw burial graves will be sold in future at a subsidised price of N$434 in the Krönlein suburb to enable those less fortunate residents to accord their loved ones a decent burial.
“A big plus is that council also proposed in its upcoming budget that rates and taxes (property taxes) be reduced by an average of 70% per month by reducing the factor for the calculation of the rates and taxes on land and improvements, as per a laid-down formula, even in ‘high-class’ suburbs like Westdene,” the CEO stated.
He added that these rates and taxes will furthermore be based on the value of properties as indicated in the new valuation roll, which will be accessible at the Keetmanshoop municipal office soon.
“What needs to be cleared here is that even though these values might now increase, the rates and taxes will still benefit owners,” Basson said. He urged residents to go and inspect the valuation roll once available in order to raise their objections with regards to its contents, if any.
In terms of the rental fees for community halls and other council properties used by residents, it was recommended during discussions that this should be reduced by an average of 50%. “Not only will this boost our finances in that these facilities will now be utilised on a more regular basis, but in addition, it can provide more recreation for citizens in the town,” he reasoned.