Electricity tariff hike on hold

Erasmus Shalihaxwe

The Electricity Control Board (ECB) has put the implementation of the electricity tariff hike on hold.

The electricity tariffs will remain unchanged until 30 June 2025.

This was announced by the board’s CEO, Robert Kahimise, on Wednesday.

“This effectively means that the consumers will pay the same tariffs as per the schedule of approved tariffs for 2023/2024. The ECB Board will allow Licensees to deviate from the approved 2024/2025 Approved Schedule of Tariffs as per Section 27(3) of the Electricity Act,” Kahimise said.

The new tariffs were supposed to come into effect on 1 July.

Last week, the ECB announced its approval to increase tariffs by 8% for the 2024/25 financial year.

At the time Kahimise said the decision was taken to prevent regional electricity distributors, local authorities, regional councils, and mines from losing money.

Kahimise announced the reversal of that decision, saying the minister of mines and energy, Tom Alweendo, engaged the ECB to collectively look into the plight of electricity consumers.

He said the government resolved to avail N$365 million to subsidise electricity consumers for the 2024/2025 financial year from 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025.

Kahimise added that about N$221 million of the N$365 million has been set aside to assist NamPower in executing its mandate and to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply.

The remaining N$144 million will be utilised by the electricity distributors to lessen the impact of the increased electricity tariff on their customers for this 2024/2025 financial year.

“The public is hereby informed that the ECB will engage the licensees on the modalities for recovering their approved revenue requirements for the 2024/2025 financial year,” he added.

Kahimise also dismissed claims that the move was done for electioneering purposes.

“How many elections have we had so far? about eight or so. For the past eight elections, Namibians have only elected one party to rule the country, and it’s still the same ruling party. This is the first time that the government has acknowledged the reality of the impact of electricity costs on consumers. So, if it was for politics, it could have happened long ago. From where we are sitting, this is an intervention to address bread and butter issues,” he said.

Residents of Katutura had planned a demonstration against the increased electricity tariffs.

The demonstration was planned for Sunday.

Social justice activist from Katutura, Shaun Gariseb initiated a petition against the high electricity price.

“All residents are affected in these tough financial times it will negatively affect individuals and businesses,” he said.

The petition has garnered over 7 000 signatures by the time this article was published.

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