OTJIWARONGO, 29 MAY – Otjozondjupa Governor, Otto Ipinge on Tuesday expressed dismay over the millions of dollars owed in rates and taxes to all five local authority councils in his region by residents and Government agencies.
Ipinge did so while delivering his third State of the Region Address at Otjiwarongo.
He said it saddens him to see more than N$ 373 million being owed to the councils of Okahandja, Otjiwarongo, Otavi, Okakarara and Grootfontein in rates and taxes and other services already rendered to the residents and Government ministries.
Ipinge said the Grootfontein Municipality is owed more than N.dollars 90 million; Okakarara close to N$24 million; the Otavi Town Council, more than N$28 million; Otjiwarongo, N$47 million and the Okahandja Town Council more than N$136 million.
“The local authority councils should do something, initiate and speed up the processes of recovering these funds, so that the money can be used to develop these towns,” he said.
The governor also called upon residents, business communities and ministries to pay off their municipal debts, “so that the funds can be used to bring most-needed services to other people”.
Constituency Councillor for Omatako, Israel Hukura said he was shocked by the “sky-high municipality bills in arrears, yet the same municipalities continue to cry loud of not having funds to channel services to the informal settlements”.
Tsumkwe Constituency Councillor, Francina Hishekwa-Ghauz also expressed shock over the debts, urging those with these outstanding bills to settle them before end of this year, so that land servicing and provision of services to the informal settlements can happen.
Mayors of the five affected local authorities were also present at the State of the Region Address.