CoW will not be forced – Mines ministry

Windhoek will not be forced to be part of the envisaged CENTRAL RED, as participation by any local authorities in its formulation will be voluntary, the Ministry of Mines and Energy has said.

“It’s not compulsory but rather voluntary. This means, there is no legal instrument forcing the City of Windhoek (CoW) to be part of any Regional Electricity Distributors (REDs),” Mines and Energy ministry Spokesperson Andreas Simon said in response to an inquiry from The Brief.

Quizzed if any local authority had previously declined to be included in the country’s existing Regional REDs, Simon said, “Yes, there have been some.”

He, however, added that research was conducted to support the creation of REDs, and no municipality would be disenfranchised. 

“Yes, further to that, the Electricity Distribution Industry Reform of 2014 was consensus based. In fact, stakeholders chose the RED approach and agreed that the reform be completed by establishing the Central RED and SORED. Moreover, this was accompanied by an Impact assessment on the escalation of utility costs for Local Authorities (Las) was also conducted. Meanwhile, continuing consultations and information sharing between the National Government and relevant stakeholders is ongoing," he said.

The pronouncement by the Ministry comes as the City of Windhoek has already shown resistance to the government's plans to incorporate the city in the planned CENTRAL RED, amid concern the plans will impact residents through high electricity bills and municipality revenues.

Chairperson of the Namibian Association of Local Authority Officers (NALAO) and the Chief Executive of the Otjiwarongo Municipality Moses Matyayi is reported to have lamented the negative impact that the divestment of the electricity sector from local authorities has made.

The Electricity Control Board (ECB) recently said it expects the country’s newest Regional Electricity Distributors (REDs), SORED, to become operational next year, with consultations still on-going regarding the creation of the CENTRAL RED.

According to the ECB, it could take more than two years to establish the CENTRAL RED amid on-going consultations, while an agreement has already been reached for the creation of SORED.

 

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Last modified on Thursday, 25 November 2021 12:43

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