Members of the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) at Otjiwarongo on Tuesday called on the Central North Regional Electricity Distributor (Cenored) to assess, through a survey, the impact of its annual electricity hikes on consumers before enforcing any decisions in the future.
The party members who held a meeting with Cenored included the acting local organising committee (LOC) spokesperson Sebetius Guiteb; regional secretary Julian Horases, and additional LOC member, Uzuvirua Tjikurame.
The trio told Cenored to learn to consult with the consumers when increasing electricity prices as clients are always left shocked to see their electricity units decreasing without an explanation given to them on the influencing factors.
“We want your company from now on to conduct research on how these annual increases impact the lives of the consumers,” said Tjikurame.
Guiteb, on his part, called on government to revisit its policies regulating electricity tariffs, saying electricity increases have become an economic burden on residents.
“Even if it will require us to go back to the previous administration, where the local authority councils were the ones distributing electricity at affordable prices, let’s do that,” he said.
Cenored Public Relations Officer, Chali Matengu, who engaged them replied that the electricity industry is a regulated business, whereby once the suppliers increase electricity tariffs, distributors like Cenored are also forced to increase their prices.
Matengu further stated that since Namibia also imports bulk electricity from South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe through NamPower in foreign currencies that fluctuate, this also continues to make electricity even more expensive once it is resold to local consumers in Namibian Dollars.
Consumers also 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 distribution, he said.
On 03 August this year, Cenored announced its new electricity tariffs with an increase of nearly 8 per cent, effective from 01 July 2023.
Fessor Mbango, the company's Chief Executive Officer, explained that Cenored, which supplies electricity to the regions of Omaheke, Otjozondjupa, Kunene, and partly Oshikoto, had applied for the 7.6 per cent tariff increase, which the Electricity Control Board (ECB) approved.
Mbango said N.dollars 100 of electricity in the domestic category will now yield 35 units, down from the previous 40 units, while businesses will get 20 units for N.dollars 100, reduced from the previous 22 units. For farm owners N.dollars 100 will provide 17 units, down from the previous 19 units.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency