Thousands of residents owe the City

12 February 2020 | Local News

Yolanda Nel More than 60 000 clients owe the City of Windhoek (CoW) close to N$1 billion in outstanding debts, which includes residents and businesses.
The CoW declined to analyze these clients based on income groups, but rather in terms of categories and thus includes townships, normal clients, businesses, body corporates, communal water points and handover accounts.
According to Harold Akwenye, manager for corporate communication, marketing and public participation at the CoW, all clients in arrears are disconnected “when identified by the system”. He confirmed that they have disconnected some government officials several times in the past.
Windhoek is known for its grace periods for accounts in arrears, as compared to other towns. “It must be stressed that Windhoek is expanding rapidly, straining our resources. As a result, not every account can be monitored continuously, which may lead to longer grace periods being experienced in some instances before services are discontinued,” he said.
Akwenye added that the City is working on implementing an improved system that will mitigate the current challenges in this regards.
As reported earlier this week, residents owe the most, standing at close to N$250 million, of which almost half are in arrears. Those that have already been handed over for debt collection stand at N$247.4 million, of which only N$12.5 million is current.
Government owes almost N$80 million, of which N$30.4 million is in arrears, while state-owned enterprises still owe N$32 million.
Businesses in Windhoek owe the city N$63.6 million. Other client groupings include pensioners who have outstanding debts of N$40.8 million, while the total outstanding amount for communal water points is N$15 million.
No mention was made of the debts from the townships.

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