Some of the questions and answers from the NCCI Gobabis Solar Energy Seminar
1. What drove the need for the public seminar on the use of solar energy in Gobabis?
The availability of electricity in Namibia is no more guaranteed as a shortage of electricity is affecting all residents especially Businesses in the SADC Region including Gobabis which is the gateway to SADC from Namibia.
2. Who was present at the seminar?
The Seminar was attended by Invited Guests including community members, NCCI Members and the General Community at large. However,not a single Local or Regional Councilors attended this important seminar. It creates the impression that they are not affected by the national electricity crisis acknowledged by the Government of the Republic of Namibia under whose auspices Gobabis falls.
3. Can you explain the need for solar energy in Gobabis and Namibia at large?
The usage of electricity is no more a luxury, but a necessity .We can no more live without electricity eg.cooking food, heaters especially lights in the dark to prevent crime, accidents etc. We need electricity/energy to operate heavy machinery eg.Construction Industry on which a lot of residents depend on as employees.
4. To what extend has electricity shortage hampered business activities in the town and Namibia at large?
Gobabis is due to become the gateway to Northern Namibia as the Government of The Republic of Namibia is busy to tar the road between Gobabis and Grootfontein. If a resident travel to the north via Gobabis, he/she will save about +-300 km instead of travelling via Otjiwarongo. Gobabis as the gateway to SADC experience a lot of heavy transport trucks on a daily base. However, our roads in and outside Gobabis need extra maintenance as it was and is not properly maintained and sustained after renovations especially to the tar roads. The above-mentioned lead to the slow development of Gobabis as the town is no more aggressively attractive for Investors both on a National and International level.
5. How will solar as an alternative improve profitability of companies in Gobabis and Namibia?
Solar Energy is guaranteed for life as long as the Sun is shining. It will create peace of mind to any investor that his investment will not be temporary guaranteed due to lack of electricity. The price of Solar products is a once off payment, thus it will guarantee a fixed initial payment that will cater a flat rate on the usage of Solar Energy.
6. Can you reveal to us the names of the foreign investors from Germany that has proposed interest to open a Solar Plant in Gobabis?
The proposed investment from German Investors is still in the initial phase. Once we have concluded our Bilateral Agreement, we will inform you ASAP.
7. How much is expected to be invested in the project from its onset until it operational and do they have the funds ready now?
We are busy to draw up a budget that will be presented to them ASAP. This Solar Power Plant will be operational after 3 months. It will be a fully-fledged Solar Plant with the latest technology as used internationally approved by the SABS (South African Bureau of Standards). We will not compromise the integrity of the NCCI-Gobabis who took this necessary initiative to guarantee the availability of Solar Energy in the absence of electricity which is also expensive for most residents of Gobabis especially the unemployed, pensioners etc.
It is envisaged that this Solar Power Plant will be able to sell Solar Energy to the whole of Omaheke Region. Hence, the NCCI-Gobabis cater for all residents of Gobabis and Omaheke Region especially its members.
8. How far have you gone in negotiations with the Municipality of Gobabis to avail land for these projects and how big is the land required?
We requested 20ha of Land from the Municipality of Gobabis to construct the Solar Power Plant. We await their feedback ASAP!!!
9. Have you already located a possible area for this plant?
It will depend on land available from the Municipality of Gobabis which will enable us to make concrete proposals including from private land owners.
10. How long will it take for the land to be availed and what input will the NCCI or the local business community put towards this initiative?
The availability of land depends on the Municipality of Gobabis. We did express the importance of the need of a Solar Power Plant in Gobabis several times to them and the public at large at our seminar including via the media. We support all national efforts to provide Solar Energy to all residents especially NCCI-Gobabis members. We need the land ASAP as electricity is no more guaranteed. We possess electricity products which are a necessity to livelihood in Namibia and worldwide.
11. Are there other partners involved or is it just the Germans as mentioned?
We approached several Investors and Companies from all over the world. We await their feedback like the Germans did.
12. When is the next follow-up seminar expected to be held and what is the significance of these seminars?
Solar Energy is a must in all households including in the Informal Settlements (Squatter Camps) in Gobabis and Omaheke Region. When we get the response from the Municipality of Gobabis, We will again host a Seminar as the Construction of the Solar Power Plant is a Community Based Effort initiated by the NCCI-Gobabis Branch. The community must be involved to create the importance and need to protect the Solar Power Plant who will replace electricity supplies in Gobabis and Omaheke Region per se.
13. Anything else you deem fit for publication in this regard is welcome.
The importance of the presence and participation of our Local and Regional Councilors/Officials cannot be over-emphasized at any Meeting/Seminar about the use of Solar Energy products provided by a Solar Power Plant in Gobabis .We are able to construct a Solar Power Plant ASAP if we get the land. We can even service the land ourselves ASAP as our Investors are willing to do so.
The Agricultural Sector is severely affected as Omaheke Region is regarded as The Cattle Country in Namibia.It cannot survive without Electricity which is scarce now and can be replaced by Solar Energy supplied by the envisaged Solar Power Plant.
The NCCI-Gobabis is a permanent partner in development business wise as current and new businesses create sustainability needed to fight unemployment, crime etc. We don’t wait for a crisis to happen then we respond, NO!!!!!