Windhoek — Residents of Oranjemund will soon have to start paying for municipal services, as do all residents in other towns across the country.
The newly proclaimed Oranjemund Town Council was until 2011 a private residential area owned by Namdeb - the country's diamond mining corporation - and residents who were employees of Namdeb had their needs met by the mine. Namdeb continued to pay for water and electricity consumption in the town, even after the proclamation of the area as a town council.
"Oranjemund Town Council has not yet commenced with charging of water and electricity bills, but has plans underway to start charging the residents of the town for utilities by latest end of August this year," public relations and community development officer Glenadette Scholtz told New Era yesterday.
A community meeting was held on July 6 to update the residents on the latest developments at the town and how it will affect them, where the council further urged the residents to visit the municipal offices to apply for water connection accounts.
"In terms of electricity, the electricity component is still being reviewed and as soon as all plans are finalised it will be communicated to all residents", Scholtz said.
The community meeting further discussed various changes to be expected in the town, such as healthcare services which is expected to provide greater access to all patients over time. Education will be redesigned to meet the needs of a public town, while social services will become more prominent and the town entrance permit removed.
The southern mining town was initially established as a diamond-mining town by mining giant De Beers and was subsequently taken over by Namdeb, a joint venture between De Beers and the Namibian government. It was eventually declared a town in 2011 and established local authority in 2012.