The country’s National Power Utility Nampower Managing Director Kahenge Haulofu has reiterated that defaulters were accorded ample time to settle their debts but failed to do so, as a result, the utility had no other choice but to constitute power disconnection if accounts are not settled by 31 May 2023.
“This was not the first time Nampower communicated on its debt collection, to sensitise its customers and the public at large, about what is owed to us by our customers, we issued a similar communication in 2021 and despite this, most have not bothered to heed our pleas and their debts continue to escalate”.
He maintained that they have always engaged customers on their overdue accounts, and although some have made efforts to bring their accounts to date, the collection of money owed to them is in line with the provisions of the Power Supply Agreements and Credit Policy.
By having meetings, engagements and offering instalment arrangements to affected customers.” this however, has not yielded the desired results, as very few customers are making an effort to honour the instalment arrangement or pay their outstanding accounts, hence the re-introduction of the debt collection plan”
The MD said this during a media briefing yesterday in Windhoek, amidst public unrest on the matter and what he termed due to misleading information.
Haulofu acknowledged that the cutting of electricity of the listed defaulters has caused a lot of commotion nationwide since it affects everyone, but this was necessary to collect what is owed to the entity for its sustainability.
Nampwers’s debt currently stands at N$1.5 billion with an amount of N$842 million being overdue, with N$74 million as interest for all defaulters.
The initial arrangement was to waive interest charges on overdue accounts settled in a 12-month period, as well as to increase the payment terms of all customers from 14 days to 20 days from the date of invoice.
With the re-introduction of the debt collection plan, the same is still being offered and in addition, an incentive to write off the interest portion of the outstanding debt accumulated over the period of 12 months to customers who settle their accounts in full on or before 31 May 2023.
The incentive discount applies to all municipalities, regional councils and regional electricity distributors such as (REDs).
The scheduled disconnection of electricity supply to defaulters will commence on 5 June 2023, which is dived into stages starting from stage 1 electricity suspension for four hours for one day in one week and defaulters who fail to settle their accounts, stages will be increased to cover additional day each week until stage 7.
Where disconnection will last for four hours every week, with stages 8-9 following suit, where the utility will increase the electricity suspension number of hours by two additional hours a day each week up to a maximum of eight hours a day.
The MD is therefore calling on defaulters to come on board in ensuring that the debt is prevented from escalating further and to also ensure the plight of the affected localities is preserved.
Nampower further assured the public that they have considered several options on how to tackle this matter and it is confident that they have come up with a practical solution which will not negatively expose the national infrastructure and put equipment at risk.
“It is important to emphasise that we have granted our customers sufficient period to make arrangements to settle their dues which is 30 days from the date of notification and to give them ample time to honour their debts”, reiterated Haulofu.
Meanwhile, Chief Financial Officer Michael Gotore said that the debt in question has been accumulated within the space of five years to more than five years on base-to-base cases.
The highest debt defaulters are NORED with 23 percent, Rehoboth at ten percent and Erongo Red at 5,5 percent, with local and import dependence said to be 60-70 percent.
South Africa Eskom supplies 100 MW, Zambia 180 MW and Zimbabwe 180 MW, while the national demand is at 620 MW.
However, this is all dependent on the Ruacana Hydropower Plant production. In addition, the MD stated that the entity pride itself that it has supplied the economy without fail and will continue to do so
In terms of local generation, Nmpower is targeting 200 MW with Anixas 50 MW project already underway, which operations are expected to be commercialized next year in April, as an effort to reduce the dependence on imports.
The entity understands the significant role electricity plays towards the country’s socio-economic development, in order to continue delivering on its mandate, it is calling on customers to honour their commitment to paying their electricity bills timeously.