Power shortages by 2013
In your Friday edition, you reported on your front page about the statement of Mr. G. Coeln, CEO of Erongo Red. He told us a few years ago the same horror story about future power shortages and immediately after that he raised his tariffs. Is this not again an indirect announcement to prepare us to pay more?
You reported that ErongoRed pays 76.5 cents per kWh to NamPower. If you compare this with the price the end-user has to pay, Erongo Red seems to have a huge mark-up and this to me is usury.
I live in Henties Bay, the town that has to pay the highest electricity prices, a town thoroughly abused by E-red. I have to pay N$1.92 per unit of pre-paid (30Amp) electricity. That is more than 250% of what Erongo Red pays to NamPower and that is 426% more of the wholesale price NamPower pays. How do you explain this?
I can only explain this awesome discrepancy by saying that the priority list of our failing government is highly skewed and that the Namibian end-user fears his government too much to open his mouth. Or is he simply ‘stupid’, stupefied by his leaders? Is it not the ‘man in the street’ that should be high on the priority list of any democratic government?
Let us remember. In the past, most of the people living outside of town borders had to produce their own energy. Where would all the mines, the farms and settlements have got their energy from if it were not from their own generators? Times changed. Now the state provides the energy. What will it be tomorrow? Will the times change again? Is retrogression taking place in Namibia, a retrogression forced by prices too high to pay?
Our government forgot to build new power stations and the new Anixas Diesel Power Station will produce roughly 10% of what new mines will need. We rely heavily on energy bought elsewhere. Is this good management, good governance? No, certainly it is not. It is pathetic management.
It seems only logical that the highly profitable mines in the Erongo region have to generate their own energy until the needs of the people in the region are satisfied. Our Swapo government has failed us; it will go eventually, but will it go early enough so that this nation can be rehabilitated?
Minister Katali defaulted on his promise to hold an energy indaba early in 2011, he will default on his new promise too and he should go. The president knows about our calamities, why does he not act accordingly?
Tangeni Usambara Katiti