Namibia: Otavi Writes Off N$3 Million Pensioner Debt

24 November 2020

Otavi — The Otavi Town Council has decided to write off N$3.12 million it is owed by elderly residents. Residents currently owe council a combined total of N$42.32 million in rates and taxes, while the town owes NamWater N$23 million.

The town's mayor George Garab said 216 senior citizens are benefitting from the gesture.

In an interview, Garab said the town council at its ordinary meeting on 22 September 2020 resolved to write off the debts owed by pensioners.

Garab said the issue of writing off debts is long overdue as it has been on the council agenda for the past three years.

He also said council at its ordinary meeting held on 6 July 2020 took a resolution that the NamWater meter be moved to reservoir two.

The timeline given for this exercise was before 7 August 2020.

"The decision is derived from the 1/8 water agreement entered into by and between Otavi Town Council and the owners of Otavifontein, of which NamWater has benefited tremendously to date at the expense of Otavi council. We invited them to discuss the issue and come up with a win-win situation but they are still consulting," Garab explained.

Additionally, the mayor announced the council resolved to follow the accelerated land delivery model by Okahandja municipality after the advice from Otjozondjupa regional governor James Uerikua.

"After a long wait for land, people always resort to land grabbing which is illegal. Accelerated land delivery is the way to go. We need to fast-track land delivery," he maintained.

Council also resolved to upgrade the existing open market with interlocks in order to make it user-friendly.

According to him, sewer services at New Kairo have been finalised and the water supply will be provided by the local authority's water department soon.

Capital projects for 2020/21 include the formalisation of !Naruseb informal area to the tune of N$1.8 million, water infrastructure at New Kairo (N$4 million), N$700 000 towards the provision of water and roads and N$500 000 is earmarked for the upgrading of the old cemetery.

- anakale@nepc.com.na

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