Gobabis municipality owes NamPower millions

The arrears largely stem from a loss on the sale of electricity for the past five years.

03 May 2021 | Business

The bulk of the municipality’s losses seem to be electricity theft and illegal bypasses. – Elvire Theron, Mayor: Gobabis

The Gobabis municipality owes NamPower an amount of N$13 million in arrears.

Gobabis mayor Elvire Theron said the arrears inherited by the new municipal council stood at about N$14 million, however the council started payment negotiations with NamPower as soon as they took office in January 2021. After a meeting with NamPower’s managing director, Simson Haulofu, they successfully negotiated a repayment agreement and have thus far paid N$1 million on the arrears.

“We [Gobabis municipality] defaulted on a previous repayment agreement in previous years and that contributed to NamPower taking a hard line,” said Theron.

She said the repayment agreement stretches over 24 months. It started with a manageable amount and escalates every few months to allow the Gobabis municipality to apply corrective measures and bring their electricity sales into profit.

Theron added that the municipality’s arrears come a long way and it is largely because of a loss on the sale of electricity for the past five years. The mayor explained that the loss on the sale of electricity is as a result of illegal electricity connections by residents, adding that due to this, a total of N$51 million was lost over a period of 60 months.

OUTSTANDING BILLS

“The bulk of the municipality’s losses seem to be electricity theft and illegal bypasses and the secondary reason seems to be old as well as faulty electricity meters and to a lesser extent old infrastructure,” she said.

Theron further informed that as it stands an amount of N$4.5 million is owed to Gobabis municipality by government, N$12 million by the business sector and N$26 million by residents.

“This total of N$42.5 million is outstanding debt,” she said.

NamPower’s corporate communications and marketing manager, Tangeni Kambangula, confirmed that the state-owned enterprise and the Gobabis municipality negotiated a payment agreement, however NamPower is not at liberty to disclose details of the agreement. - Nampa

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