The Northern Regional Electricity Distributor (Nored) in Namibia is facing financial constraints as a result of illegal electricity connections and customers not honouring their monthly bills on time.
Nored currently owes national power utility NamPower an accumulated debt of $13,53 million (N$200 million). This was revealed at an induction training session of local and regional councillors in the Oshana region at Oshakati last week.
Nored’s chief financial officer, Ndapandula Tshitayi, said the company has an arrangement with NamPower to settle its debts over a certain period of time. NamPower supplies regional electricity distributors such as Nored with bulk electricity.
Nored has however rubbished claims that they are in any deep financial constraints saying the company is in good financial health, and will continue to supply and distribute electricity to its customers.
Fillemon Nakashole, Nored’s Chief Executive Officer, said the company is faced with numerous challenges, such as a high rate of copper theft, which continues to hamper the company’s ability to serve its customers and stakeholders efficiently.
He said this trend is on the increase, resulting in constant power failures at a number of towns and settlements in Namibia.
“We are experiencing copper theft at all our stations and at NamPower. Most cases of copper theft have been experienced at the Outapi bulk power station, and at Omuthiya and Ongwediva, but with the assistance of the police, we have managed to arrest some of the culprits. Most of them resell the copper, while others use it to make traditional bracelets.
“We see that as a serious challenge, and we from Nored are now making sure we have installed cameras at all our stations, which can be monitored to record any fraudulent activities. In terms of monetary value, this would mean economic activities at those towns would not take place. This would in turn prevent us from carrying out our mandate,” Nakashole said.
He said despite these challenges, the entity has spent close to $671,000 during the 2021/22 financial year on providing and supplying peri-urban areas and central growth points with affordable electricity.