Keetmanshoop Municipality to replace aging electricity network

KEETMANSHOOP: The Keetmanshoop Municipality says it is in the process of acquiring a loan of N.dollars 11.9 million from the Development Bank of Namibia to replace its aging electricity network.

This was revealed by the head of information and communication technology in the municipality’s Electricity Business Unit, Lee Mwemba on Tuesday while presenting the municipality’s budget for the 2023/24 financial year.

He said the loan has been approved by the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development and is awaiting final approval from the Ministry of Finance.

Mwemba said the funds will be used to upgrade the town’s aging electricity system, which means the quality of electricity for residents.

‘Just like water, electricity has to have a certain quality for all the appliances to work, because if that electricity is not up to a certain standard it is likely that some appliances will not work. These are regulations put in place by those that provide electricity to us and we need to adhere to that and in the end, it
benefits our residents,’ he stressed.

He also said the municipality will use the funds to replace old streetlights, install smart substations and install high mast lights between the Noordhoek and Krönlein residential areas to reduce crime.

The municipality will also set up smart kiosks or mobile municipalities in the Krönlein and Westdene residential areas for resident to buy pre-paid electricity from.

‘Currently we use a lot of third parties, these third parties bill the municipality, and that cost is passed on to the residents, so with our smart kiosk we are trying to eliminate those parties and cut costs. That might decrease the electricity tariff with a small margin,’ he added.

Mwemba went on to say that there are also plans to start using automatic meter reading that will detect water and electricity meters that are being bypassed.

‘Those that are bypassing electricity and water networks are actually robbing their fellow residents because whatever we lose from our side, we bill on every resident, s
o other residents are paying. With this reading we detect where the bypass is and just deal with that person individually,’ said Mwemba.

He also revealed that the municipality has managed to decrease its debt to NamWater from N.dollars 34 million to N.dollars 26 million since October last year.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency