Swakopmund does not owe NamWater N$74m

The municipality of Swakopmund does not owe the national water utility NamWater any money due to outstanding bills. This was now reiterated by Swakopmund town councillor Wilfried Groenewald during an interview with namib times.

Groenewald was reacting to reports after the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa, visited Swakopmund recently during an information session regarding the future of the water supply. During that meeting NamWater CEO Dr. Vaino Shivute informed the municipality that it is required to pay N$74 million for the new water pipeline leading from the desalination plant towards Swakopmund, even though the new infrastructure was meant to be financed by government.
The matter will now be addressed by Minister Mutorwa.
“It was revealed at the meeting that the new pipeline cost N$550 million, but NamWater did not inform us about this development, nor was the municipality involved in any way with it, but instead now NamWater wants us to contribute these millions of dollars towards the investment,” Groenewald said to namib times. During the meeting Dr Shivute informed the attendees that central government was supposed to contribute N$350 million towards the investment.
“We were told that Government only contributed N$150 million,” Groenewald continued and added: “Now they are looking for this short-fall from the municipalities.”
Dr. Shivute also told the municipalities that the money should ultimately be recovered from the consumers, being the residents. According to NamWater calculations, Swakopmund has to contribute N$74 million towards the pipeline, where Arandis is required to pay N$11 million. This calculation stems from the percentage of water each local authority utilises. In Swakopmund’s case this amount was calculated to be 14%.
“According to law one cannot just do a job and order somebody to pay for it retrospectively. It does not work like that,” Groenewald said. He also doubts the calculation of the amount of N$ 74 million being 14%. “If you take N$550 million and subtract N$ 150 million (that Government contributed), you end up with an amount of N$400 million. 14% of this amount only makes N$ 56 million,” he said.
A further bone of contention regarding the financing of the new pipeline came up during the meeting. “Imagine we pay for a part of the pipeline.
Who will ultimately be the owner and who will be responsible for maintenance?
It does not make much sense, especially considering that the pipeline does not fall under our jurisdiction, but was built on state land,” the councillor added.
The meeting concluded with Mutorwa inviting the local authorities to submit a proposal on how the matter can be resolved to his ministry.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login