Highlights from City Council chambers

During the most recent ordinary Windhoek municipal council meeting, the following items – amongst others – were approved.
• Approval to alienate houses
The City of Windhoek (CoW) will commence its Council Housing Programme by way of a pilot project on eight residential-zoned erven in Khomasdal. This is the first time that council will alienate houses, and not just serviced erven for the purpose of creating housing. Council previously only alienated serviced land and therefore the sale of improved erven, specifically with a completed housing structure, is new to this process. The erven where the houses will be constructed are situated at the corner of Sigma and Visarend streets.
• Rehabilitation centre
Council approved the application received by Dunamis Consulting (Pty) Ltd on behalf of the owner, Human Dreams e.V. (owner Nicole Mtawa) to operate an animal-supported rehabilitation and recreational centre for disabled and socially disadvantaged children on 25 hectare, or 50%, of the property. The proposed development includes a parking area for buses, a canteen or food store, material storage; and an animal shelter.
• MVAF trauma and rehabilitation centre
Council approved the sale of erf 10812 in Katutura to the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund for N$21 000 000 (excluding VAT) to establish a trauma and rehabilitation centre. Among other conditions, the MVA will be responsible (at own cost) for the extension or upgrading of the surrounding road network. This includes the upgrading of Hans-Dietrich Genscher Street to a dual carriage way capacity up to Bondel Street, and the construction of Leonard Auala Street to provide access to the new centre and provide adequate access and turning lanes. Should the MVA fail to finalise the sale within 90 days the allocation of said erf will be cancelled and the property will be allocated to another applicant.
• ‘Air rights’ for Lady Pohamba Private Hospital
Council approved the leasing of so-called air rights over erf 1370 Kleine Kuppe, to the Lady Pohamba Private Hospital for a period of 20 years at a monthly rental of N$23 766 (subject thereto that the rental escalate annually in line with the Namibian Inflation Rate, but not exceeding 10%). The purpose of the air right lease will be to allow for the erection of structures to extend from erf 1367 to erf 1369, Kleine Kuppe, without impeding traffic flow on Ombika Street.
• Take-over of electrical infrastructure
At the moment all municipal services are provided by the City of Windhoek except electricity distribution, which is still done by NamPower. The CoW has attempted on several occasions since 2011 to take over the electrical infrastructure assets in Brakwater, Döbra, Nubuamis and Groot Aub. So far these attempts have been unsuccessful since NamPower requires compensation for the assets. The strategic executive for electricity at the CoW will again approach NamPower and other private entities in the extended boundaries of Windhoek to negotiate the take-over of electrical infrastructure / assets based on the outcome of an asset valuation.
• Energy audit for council buildings
Council approved the CoW energy audit recommendations implementation plan. An energy audit pilot exercise was undertaken by the CoW electricity department in partnership with the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) on the department’s office block and the City’s headquarters to determine the best way in which the electricity bill of the two buildings can be reduced. The audit methodology will be used as a basis to roll out the same measures to all other CoW buildings. The cost of implementing the recommendations at the two buildings is N$3.19m. The investment has a payback period of 2.95 years and a return on investment of 239.11% for the Electricity department building while similarly the payback period for Town House is 2.4 years and the return on investment here is 324.78%.
• Pre-paid token Standard Transfer Specifications (STS) compliance
The CoW currently has 54 009 installed pre-paid electricity meters with an annual revenue of over N$533 000 000. Pre-paid meter customers require tokens from the CoW’s pre-payment system server, which is run on Syntell software. Older meters need replacement with STS compliant meters to manage the token identifier roll-over process to prevent meters from running out of range, preventing them from accepting new tokens. To overcome this, all prepayment meters will require the entering of two key change tokens to reset each meter to a new reference base date.