Windhoekers owe millions

09 June 2019 | Infrastructure

Elvira Hattingh



Residents whose accounts are 120 days and more in arrears, owe the municipality (CoW) around N$450 million.

According to the city's PRO, Lydia Amutenya, individuals are most guilty, owing arrears of N$321 million, while businesses owe about N$113 million.

“The municipality has formal agreements for clients who are in arrears, yet most fail to comply with said agreements,” Amutenya said.

This has led to the CoW to hire Redforce Debt Management to use “aggressive efforts” to collect debts from businesses and private residents.

This means that those whose municipal accounts were 120 days and more in arrears as at 3 June, will be handed over to the debt collector and their municipal services will be suspended

The City says the debt collector has been appointed because various internal debt collection efforts have not paid off and the number of overdue accounts has continued to escalate. “It has become impractical to handle it ourselves,” Amutenya said.

The CoW already began suspending clients with accounts in arrears, although Amutenya could not say how many people are affected by it. She also confirmed that the process to cut of water supply has begun.

Amutenya said the municipality usually requires that clients in arrears settle at least half of their total account. Thereafter an arrangement can be made to pay off the rest over a period of three to 12 months.

Should a client not be able to do so, an arrangement can be made to pay a third of the total debt immediately, whereafter the rest must be paid between three and 12 months.

In a municipal notice issued last week, clients whose accounts have been handed to the debt collector, are encouraged to make payment arrangements with Redforce. All payments are made directly to the municipality.

“Defaulters run the risk of paying an additional cost to the debt collector, which is equal to about 10% of the surrendered amount,” according to the notice.

According to the CoW, while the account is with the debt collector, all municipal services will remain suspended.

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