City to ease burden on the poor

Erven, housing, electrification, water, sanitation and solar power generation have been identified as services the municipality will focus on.

08 October 2018 | Government

Jana-Mari Smith - The City of Windhoek announced the imminent electrification of parts of Okahandja Park and Havana as well as six priority areas in a bid to ease the plight of vulnerable and low income residents.

In line with one priority area, the installation of pre-paid electricity metres, Windhoek mayor Muesee Kazapua squashed rumours that pre-paid electricity is more expensive, dismissing complaints made to his office in this regard.

“Let me make this clear. It is not true. This system is very good because it helps manage your consumption and money spent on electricity, particularly for pensioners.”



Electricity

Kazapua said he was disappointed by complaints made to his office from residents demanding the removal of pre-paid electricity metres, and warned that if residents continue in this line, “council will not be left with any other option but to reverse the debts that were written off for your municipal accounts and make you pay for it”.

On a brighter note, Kazapua announced that a priority for the city at this time is the pre-allocation of plots to residents, especially those living in informal settlements.

“The pre-allocation concept entails that residents will be allocated land before it is serviced in order to make money available for the servicing of plots,” he said.

In regards to the upcoming electrification provision to low-income residents living in shacks, Kazapua said that work has already begun in Okahandja Park.

Electricity here and for other areas will be supplied from the newly completed Lafrenz Electrical Load Centre that was constructed for N$45 million. The inauguration of the load centre and the ground breaking ceremony for the electrification of Okahandja Park and part of Havana, is set for 16 October.



Priority areas

The mayor said that in terms of the city's prioritisation of allocating plots to residents, specifically in low-income areas, the city has taken note of the success of this approach in other parts of the world, as well as similar approaches by other town authorities.

He mentioned that the Otjiwarongo municipality has addressed the issue of informal shacks in this way, with great success, adding that city officials visited Otjiwarongo and the Zimbabwean city of Kadoma where the concept has also born fruit.

Another issue the city is paying increasing attention to, is the installation of pre-paid water metres for pensioners and residents in the north and north-western suburbs.

“Council is convinced that the installation of this equipment will assist residents in managing their municipal debts.” The project is slated to begin “as soon as possible”, Kazapua said.

Third on the list, is the installation of pre-paid electricity metres which is aimed at pensioners in the north and north-western suburbs.

A fourth priority is the provision of water and sanitation to underserved areas of the city. He said an interventional plan is being drawn up, specifically designed to accelerate the provision of water and sanitation to residents in low income areas.

The fifth priority area is the construction of affordable housing in informal settlements. He said that different housing models are being examined, in the hope of fast tracking and alleviating “the acute housing shortage”.

Another priority is the establishment of a solar power generation plant, for which tenders have closed.

“It is my conviction that if these six priorities are successfully carried out, we will have made positive inroads in the provision of basic amenities to our residents,” the mayor concluded.

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