By Donna Collins
RESIDENTS of Walvis Bay will be facing a 10 percent increase on all municipal services implemented as from July1, according to the tabling of the N$363.7million 2016/17 budget delivered by Tobias Nambala, chairperson of the management committee, last week.
But the good news is that the biggest slice of the pie – N$174 million has been earmarked on land development projects for the town which run over more than one financial year. In total, there are 16 extensions planned for the financial year under discussion. Five of the extensions are at an advanced planning stage and will yield about 1 269 erven once completed.
Whilst presenting the budget to Walvis Bay Mayor, Wilfred Immanuel, Nambala sighted some of the more serious challenges the Walvis Bay Municipality is facing, saying that the new budget clearly demonstrates the seriousness of this council to work towards accommodating the needs of their residents in the “best possible manner”. “Despite these down sides obstructing the development of our port city, I can assure you that we are hard at work in finding and introducing alternative measures and strategies, to ensure that we succeed in taking our local economy towards positive growth levels.” Service delivery related projects took the next highest expenditure of N$96 million. This will include major items such as, upgrading and replacement of outdated water and sewer infrastructures, as well as a capacity increase of the Long Beach reservoir pump station, construction of a new reservoir at Mile 7, fencing the landfill site to mention some, which are going to be given top priority.
Furthermore, N$41 million has been set aside for infrastructure-related projects, such as the re-sealing and tarring of streets and surfacing sidewalks in all the suburbs of the town, as well as structural maintenance to the garages and Civic Centre building.
A total of N$26 million has been set aside for community or social projects which include a two-phase upgrade of the Kuisebmund Stadium and Tutaleni Fire Station. In addition a new campsite is going to be built at Dolphin Park, a cemetery at Naraville, Traffic Office space and patrol vehicles, industrial stalls in Kuisebmund plus fencing of the new caravan park, to mention some.
Furthermore, N$11 million has been set aside for maintenance used for roads and sewer systems, as well refuse removal vehicles, while an amount of N$15.7 million has been tabled for other individual projects.
Expected revenue for the new financial year is estimated at N$393.3 million, while expected expenditure has been recorded at N$395.8 million with a deficit of about N$2.5 million.
About 80 percent of the total estimated revenue is obtained from water and related services, property rates and taxes, refuse removal services, and sanitation services.
It was said that the increased adjustments are deemed necessary in order to maintain the same standards that residents of the harbour town have become used to in terms of service delivery. The 2016/17 budget has also been compiled in line with council’s five-year Strategic Plan.
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