Otjiwarongo residents submit petition against Cenored tariffs

OTJIWARONGO: More than 60 residents of Otjiwarongo on Monday walked to the Central North Regional Electricity Distributor (Cenored) offices where they handed in a petition, demanding a reduction in the prepaid electricity tariffs at the town.

The residents accused Cenored of selling electricity to them at an exorbitant price of N.dollars 2.08 per unit. They accused Cenored of buying luxury vehicles, double storey office buildings and paying exorbitant salaries to employees instead of selling more affordable electricity to consumers and investing the profits into electrifying all informal areas.

They further said the company which was created in 2005 to generate money and pay dividends to its shareholders such as the regional and local authority councils, has failed to do so, and instead operates like a ‘mafia style’ organisation where millions are channelled into less priority areas.

The aggrieved residents further claimed that Cenored continues to deprive the local authorities of finances, saying before i
ts establishment in 2005, the Otjiwarongo Municipality which was handling the affairs of electricity on behalf of Government, would generate over N.dollars 43 million a year from the sales of electricity.

‘We demand a decrease in prepaid electricity charges, for instance N.dollars 10 which is fetching less than four units, should give us about seven units,’ they said.

Reacting, Cenored Public Relations Officer Charlie Matengu on Monday afternoon said Cenored has a dividend policy approved by the shareholders who are mostly the local authority councils.

‘It is based on this policy that we pay them money on a monthly basis in surcharges or reinvest the surcharges into electrification of the towns’ informal or newly created suburbs,’ he said.

The surcharges refer to the money Cenored collects from the sales of electricity units on their behalf, said Matengu.

He added that two other levies are also added to its electricity charges and that of the surcharges in the form of the National Energy Fund and Electri
city Control Board (ECB) charges, which in total would collect N.dollars 7 from the electricity units of N.dollars 10 paid by a client.

Cenored Executive for Commercial and Customer Services, Ignatius Komomungondo who received the petition, told the residents the company would respond to their grievances within seven working days.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency