Nearly N.dollars 18 million spent on rural electrification in 2017/18

18 Apr 2018 19:10pm
WINDHOEK, 18 APR (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Mines and Energy spent N.dollars 17 834 000 through the Rural Electrification Programme to electrify 20 state institution and connect 29 households and seven formal and informal businesses to the national grid in the last financial year.
This was revealed by Mines and Energy Deputy Minister, Kornelia Shilunga on Tuesday when she delivered the ministry’s budget motivation for the 2018/19 financial year (FY) in the National Assembly.
Shilunga said the ministry managed to meet most of its obligations from the previous FY despite having limited resources at its disposal.
“Twenty public institutions and localities have been electrified in the Kavango West, Kavango East and Omaheke regions,” said Shilunga.
She highlighted a plethora of the ministry’s achievements during the FY in the August house.
Chiefly, an amount of N.dollars 23 billion was generated from petroleum exploration and production rental fees; N.dollars 1.3 billion was added to the National State Revenue Fund through royalties while another N.dollars 2.3 million was collected from mineral licenses.
Shilunga said despite challenges in the uranium sector, the Husab Mine – which commenced its commercial production and exported its first product shipment in December 2017 – is expected to produce at full capacity by the end of 2018.
Another positive from the mining sector, according to Shilunga, is that the B2Gold Mine produced 5 436 kilogrammes (kg) of gold during the 2017/18 FY, an increase from 4 845 kg recorded the previous year.
Additionally, the Okanjande Graphite project, located about 70 kilometres north of Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region, kicked off with operations in 2017.
It is expected that the mine will have a lifespan of about 35 years and will produce around 20 000 tons of graphite annually.
The company employs 139 people on the mine and 108 on the production plant, she noted.
Apart from the extractive industry activities, the ministry is also mandated to regulate and oversee the energy activities in the country.
To this effect, the National Energy Policy, National Renewable Energy Policy and the National Integrated Resources Plan were finalised and approved by Cabinet in 2017.
For the 2018/19 FY, the ministry received a total budget allocation of N.dollars 264 321 000.
Of this figure, N.dollars 170 million (68 per cent) is earmarked for operational costs, including remuneration and employee benefits.