The Grootfontein Municipality recently began consulting with stakeholders as part of its process to prepare its budget for the financial year 2024/2025.

Despite extensive invitations by the municipality using all instruments of information dissemination, only a small number of Grootfontein residents showed interest.

The disappointed acting chief executive officer, Indileni Lungameni, says the trend of poor attendance by residents has come a long way, adding that pensioners are the only ones attending.

For this year's budget, the council opted not to increase tariffs on sewer, sanitation, and water services as part of its contribution to ease the burden of the cost of living for its residents.

Lungameni revealed that senior citizens will be subsidised with over N$300 on a monthly basis for basic services.

"Our total budget for the upcoming fiscal year is N$146 million, and part of that N$146 million, we made a provision of about N$1 million for our endowment and consent. In our endowment and consent, we are referring to a Christmas party, support for the Cancer Association, support for sports, support for schools, support for the Red Cross, and other social responsibilities."

Those with animals roaming around the town of Grootfontein are expected to pay steep fines if their animals are impounded, with the big animals costing N$350 while the small livestock will cost an amount of N$220 per day.

Lungameni says the operational budget accounts for 74 percent, with the remaining 26 percent going to the capital budget, which is an increase of 1.1 percent from last year.

"In our capital budget, we have made a provision of N$38 million where we have committed ourselves to build a new fire station, and we also committed to deliver land and housing. We are referring to the provision of 3000 evens. The council is also working on procuring interlock-making machines with the idea of upgrading all our gravel roads to interlock standards. We are also looking at the installation of pre-paid metres in all our localities with the idea of increasing the escalating debts that we are currently having. So, this budget speaks to accelerated land and housing delivery and improving infrastructure development and maintenance."

The Municipality of Grootfontein wants to resuscitate several activities under its social responsibility programme, such as the Mayoral Cup to promote sports, an end-of-year party for senior citizens, and to support  the girl child in school with the provision of sanitary pads. 

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NBC Digital News


Samuel Kandjii