CORRECTION: Future of electricity supply in Keetmanshoop in the

17 Nov 2016 17:30pm
Refile to attribute statement in second last paragraph to our source.

KEETMANSHOOP, 17 NOV (NAMPA) – The Keetmanshoop Municipality will pronounce itself next Monday on whether it will extend its contract for electricity supply with the Southern Electricity Company (SELCo) or whether it will join Erongo RED.
This was the response of Keetmanshoop Management Committee Chairperson, Gabriel Freyer when approached on the matter by Nampa Wednesday, though an anonymous council insider indicated that a contract would soon be signed with SELCo.
The Keetmanshoop councillors and SELCo management met with the Electricity Control Board on Monday to make a decision on which entity should provide electricity to residents and businesses of the southern town.
The municipality planned to take over electricity provision after the end of SELCo’s 15-year contract in October, but backtracked this month, announcing that it would continue with SELCo for another year.
“We are extending our contract with SELCo while putting measures in place to establish a regional electricity distributor (RED),” Keetmanshoop Municipality Chief Executive Officer Desmond Basson said at the time.
Last week however, residents and SELCo workers waged protests against the planned extension.
Basson and the councillors are in Otjiwarongo this week attending training.
Freyer said the local authority was “trapped in a hard place” to both appease residents and to ensure provision of uninterrupted electricity supply.
“We will make an official statement on Monday as to the way forward.”
The council insider wanted councillors to “stop the games”, sign with SELCo and to dedicate the available time to establish a RED.
“If we sign with Erongo RED, we have no say on anything and we know that the municipality is not in a position to immediately take over electricity distribution.”
The insider added that some of the councillors who are against SELCo are the same ones who previously insisted on the contract extension.
“Now they are playing political games. They tried to become popular by flip-flopping and getting popularity votes from the community.”