Councils called out on surcharge fees

04 September 2019 | Government

Local authorities and regional councils that receive monthly Nored surcharge fees are not using these monies to invest in infrastructure and attain socio-economic development.

This is according to Nored CEO Fillemon Nakashole, who revealed this in a speech read on his behalf at the Public Infrastructure Funding Conference that is currently underway at Rundu in Kavango East.

Nakashole revealed that Nored pays monthly surcharge fees of N$1.8 million to local and regional councils, who are shareholders in the regional electricity distributor.

“Currently Nored pays monthly surcharge (fees) averaging N$1.8 million towards the respective towns and regions within its area of operation. However, the regions and towns are not leveraging this opportunity to re-invest the money back into electricity infrastructure, and eventually boost their socio-economic development,” Nakashole said.

Surcharge fees are the monies Nored pays to the stakeholders after calculating the amount of electricity used in a specific town or region.

The amount paid out is based on the infrastructure they have and electricity usage. Nored is hosting the conference with the objective of bringing various local authorities and regional councils together, for them to engage the private sector, banks and the government, to see how best monies such as surcharge fees can be used to develop the country. “The objective of this conference is to gather representatives from the private sector, financial institutions and the government to discuss financial solutions to unlock private investment in electricity infrastructure in Nored's area of operation and the potential this has for catalysing economic development,” Nakashole said.

He said although Nored has an annual budget of N$10 million to electrify various communities, this is not enough to fast-track development.

Therefore, through the smart public-private partnerships Nored hopes will materialise at the conference, regional councils and local authorities will be able to invest their surcharge fees wisely.

Urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga said in a speech read on his behalf that infrastructure development is one of the backbones of development, adding it stimulates economic activities and uplifts communities.

Mushelenga said basic infrastructure services also reduces poverty and contributes to job-creation. “We all must appreciate that infrastructure makes an important contribution to national productivity. It further enables established businesses to expand their production levels, while encouraging small businesses to enter the market, especially in peri-urban communities,” Mushelenga said. The conference ends today and is being held under the theme 'Enhance and Sustain Socio-Economic Development through an Accelerated Public Infrastructure Investment Intervention'.

KENYA KAMBOWE

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