CoW’s monthly electricity bill close to N$100m
City of Windhoek’s (CoW) monthly electricity to the national utility is close to N$100 million according to the Mayor Muesee Kazapua.
Kazapua said the monthly electricity to the national utility could be much higher in the winter season, adding, that the municipal electricity tariffs are annually adjusted in line with the increase approved by the Electricity Control Board.
Kazapua also affirmed the recent approved electricity tariffs increase of 9.53% by the Electricity Control Board (ECB), saying, they are informed that in its application NamPower requested for an effective bulk tariff increase of 13.20%, an increase from N$1.17 to N$1.32 per kWh (inclusive of generation and transmission), to meet its service delivery costs and for the tariff to remain cost reflective. The ECB granted approval of N$1.28 per kWh, to allow the electricity producer NAMPOWER to meet its operational costs and fulfil its financial obligations.
“The ECB is reported to have advised that respective distributors will individually have to apply to the ECB for tariff increases that will be applicable to the end consumers. Similarly, we are informed that the regulator (ECB) had taken into consideration the expectations of key stakeholders including government and the impact of the new tariffs on consumers and the economy before assenting to the new rates,” said Kazapua.
Kazapua said at the monthly council meeting held last week that while budgetary consultations are on-going, the City is an institution that runs its operations on a cost recovery basis.
“It will have no choice, but to adjust its tariffs in order to equally meet its operational costs and financial obligations,” said Kazapua.
Kazapua added that CoW is mindful of the impact of these tariff increases on individual households, especially for the destitute and pensioners.
In addition, through a letter of Intent signed with the Peoples Municipal Government of Nanjing in China, CoW received 110 sets of solar energy lighting equipment worth N$180 000, adding, Nanjing undertook to offer scholarship of Windhoek students in critical areas.
“We are convinced international cooperation has potential of opening up new ways of thinking and innovations. Therefore we will keep our international linkages as a strategy to improve municipal service delivery,” said Kazapua.
“It was for this reason that in 2009, Council approved an Indigent Policy aimed at providing subsidized water and electricity to pensioners and destitute.
“This policy needed contribution from the national utilities NamPower and NamWater in order to be implemented sustainably. We have made consultation with the two bodies but failed to get their support,” said Kazapua.
On a different note Ladies and Gentlemen, following the Workshop of Mayors held in Windhoek in July 2013, Local Authorities across Namibia have recognized the role that they have to play in ensuring urban food security.
Kazapua said CoW unanimously declared and pledged political commitment to promote a food bank and urban agriculture initiatives in our cities, towns and villages.
“We are encouraged by continued Government’s efforts on the same subject matters at national level and are committed to compliment these efforts at local level,” said Kazapua.
Kazapua added: “As a City, we have already identified a site for the construction of a food bank facility and are happy to have received overwhelming support and commitment from local businesses, in terms of construction materials and food stuff. I am equally encouraged, by public interest since our pronouncement to promote urban agriculture through community gardens around the City.”
Kazapua said he assigned two Councillors to the Food Security Agenda Point, saying, the two Councillors and officials held several consultative meetings with internal and external stakeholders on this subject matter and we were surprised by the enthusiasm of the many scattered community garden activities taking part around the City.
“At the same time, we are cognizant of the water supply constraints of Windhoek. We are in consultation with relevant Government Agencies and international partners such as the Food Agricultural Organization (FAO), UNDP, World Future Council (WFC) and Research For Urban Agriculture Foundation (RUAF) for technical advice.
“We are seeking advice on solutions that worked elsewhere in arid and water starved countries like ours. This will involve collaboration on assessment of the feasibility of urban agriculture in Windhoek, given our water situation,” said Kazapua.
Kazapua also addressed the countries water shortages, adding, they are committed to finding ways of balancing the provision of water to soccer fields, golf courses, swimming pools versus community gardens for food production.
“This process will require a careful gradual planning; and I have already requested the Acting Chief Executive in March this year to investigate the water needs. On international relations, I am pleased to inform you that I led a delegation to the City San Antonio Texas, and Richmond Virginia, in the USA, on an official mission that was facilitated the Namibian Embassy, in Washington,” he said.