Namibia is a unitary democratic republic with three spheres of government: national, regional and local. Regional and local government are enshrined in Chapter 12 of the constitution and the main governing legislation consists of the Local Authorities Act 1992 and the Regional Councils Act 1992. There are 13 regional councils and 52 unitary local authorities, classified as follows: three ‘Part I’ municipal (city) councils, 13 ‘Part II’ municipal councils, 17 town councils and 19 village councils. Both regional councils and local authorities are empowered to levy local taxes. Each local authority must transfer 5% of its rate income to its regional council. In parallel, central government provides subsidies to village councils, regional councils and newly established town councils. Regional councils do not generally provide services directly, but local councils’ responsibilities include water and sanitation, waste management, electricity and economic promotion.
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