It is regrettable that Windhoek has become one of the most expensive cities around the world to live in. This untenable scenario is exacerbated by the fact that Central Government has conveniently forgotten that Local Authorities are the first point of entry of any government, hence this is the level were real bread and butter issues should be discussed and formulated for the benefit of the residents.
As a Councillor of the City of Windhoek representing Nudo party it pains me when we have to adjust our rates and taxes on a yearly basis, and dump the cost on the consumers who happen to be the already impoverished residents.
It is high time that Central Government amend the Local Authority Act of 1992 in order to make provisions for our towns and city of Windhoek to start receiving adequate subsidies from Government.
Failure to do this then the imbalances of the past and the ever increasing lack of serviced land amongst other priorities in especially Windhoek will continue unabated.
It defies logic that Central Government turns a blind eye to Towns and Cities and allow them to fend for themselves and to survive on these meagre resources obtained from rates and taxes, while the demand far outweigh what these towns can provide.
The ever increasing gap between the rich and the poor particularly in the City of Windhoek will continue to grow and widen, and will mostly hurt those who are poor because when rates and taxes are increased it mostly hurts those already at the end of the ladder of poverty.
It is high time that Government realise that in order to redress the issue of the ever increasing informal settlements in our towns, and to provide basic services or let alone serviced land in our towns, this cannot be left solely to the Local Authorities alone, this is where Central Government should come in and provide the necessary financial assistance, and meet local authorities half way.
In particular, the situation for the City of Windhoek as the capital city is so dire and critical that the city can no longer afford to provide basic needs to the ever increasing population alone.
Government should therefore wake up from its self induced comma and smell the coffee, that it is time to amend the Local Authority Act of 1992 and make serious provisions for a hefty subsidy to the City coffers at least perhaps we can make a difference in the lives of our people.
The reality at hand is that the increases of rates and taxes alone cannot sustain the city let alone be sufficient enough to provide much needed services to our people, we need government serious intervention in this regard.
The views expressed above are those of Joseph Kauandenge, councilor of the City of Windhoek, and do not in any way represent those of this publication.