Otjiwarongo residents losing patience with high electricity tariffs

21 Sep 2017 08:10am
OTJIWARONGO, 21 SEP (NAMPA) - Residents of Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region have called on Government to revisit its policies and laws regulating electricity tariffs in the country.
The Central North Regional Electricity Distributor (Cenored) on 01 July this year increased its electricity tariffs by more than 6 per cent in supplies and distribution.
Cenored distributes electricity to regions like Omaheke, Otjozondjupa, Kunene, and partly Oshikoto.
Fifty-seven-year-old Kutandauka Kakuva in an interview with Nampa on Wednesday said Government is to blame for these annual hikes of electricity countrywide.
“It is our Government at fault by making decisions affecting us with these annual increases of electricity prices,” he said.
Kakuva said electricity for household use is already unaffordable to many people, both those working and the unemployed.
Eveline Byl, 27, from the Telecom informal settlement here suggested it was time for Government to start subsidising domestic electricity prices.
“Why increasing it on yearly basis, and put a heavy burden on consumers who are already unemployed and suffering?” Byl asked.
Jacobs Nakanyala, 32, from the DRC informal settlement said the cost of living has become high in Namibia.
“Electricity prices high, water charges high, price of bread high, unemployment in the country is also high, everything is expensive. What will happen to our children 10 years to come?” he asked.
Nakanyala urged decision makers in the country to relook and redesign appropriate policies in favour of the public.
Cenored Executive for Corporate Services, Ekonia Mudjanima on Wednesday said at an information sharing meeting at Otjiwarongo that Namibians should not expect electricity prices to reduce.
He said the electricity tariffs in the country will continue to increase until Namibia starts generating its own power for local use and surplus for export to other countries.
“We import electricity on the terms of the suppliers, therefore, to be frank enough electricity is not going to go down soon,” said Mudjanima.
He explained that Namibia imports bulk electricity from South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique through the Namibia Power Utility company (NamPower).
In turn, NamPower resells electricity to the regional electricity distributors in the country like Cenored, Erongo Red and Northern Regional Electricity Distributor (Nored), among others.
Mudjanima said this electricity is normally bought in foreign currency, making it even more expensive once sold to local consumers in Namibia Dollar.
He said consumers are also required by law to pay levies on each electricity unit they buy to the National Energy Fund (NEF), Electricity Control Board, (ECB) and charges to the local authority councils holding shares in the electricity distributions.
Mudjanina said electricity is not subsidised by Government, therefore, will remain expensive.