The Oshakati Town Council in partnership with Oshakati Premier Electric (OPE) has launched a pilot phase of national support tariff mechanism with an intention to make basic electricity needs and new energy more affordable to households.
Through research and development, the OPE went through all areas which have already been electri?ed, and identi?ed families that were not connected to the projects aimed at connecting households that are in the planned informal areas to the grid, Chief Executive Of?cer (CEO) of OPE, Nelson Sheya said.
“With the support of our shareholders, at Oshakati Town Council an amount of N$ 7 million was made available as part of retaining the shareholder’s return for this purpose. The immediate bene?t of the reduced or subsidised tariffs are a testimony to the achievements of the Harambee Prosperity Plan as well as vision 2030,” Sheya said. He further added that the communities’ response to the projects has been overwhelming and the support tariff mechanism compliments the OPE effort in providing access, connecting and providing affordable and reliable electricity to customers.
Sheya explained OPE currently has a “free connection” project running which is aimed at connecting about 1 200 inhabitants of Oshakati in the planned informal areas to the grid and providing electricity ready boards for immediate power usage “Undertaking initiatives of this kind also aid to ensure that everybody has an opportunity to participate in the mainstream economic activity. The types of projects also provide immediately improved standards of living to bene?ciaries and are direct deliveries on promises made on our national plans,” he said.
He added that this project is a clear testimony of the governments support towards the initiatives that OPE is carrying out and the support tariffs for consumers consuming 15 amps. This initiative started in 2012 and the mechanism was developed by the Electricity Control Board (ECB) on behalf of the Ministry of Mines and Energy and approved by Cabinet in 2016. At household level, electric lights replacing candles allow for better lighting and enhance reading and broaden educational opportunities.
Electricity further reduces health hazards caused by candle ? res and exposure to inhalation of smoke when using paraf?n lamps and candles. The bene?ts of affordable electricity cannot be overemphasised with 71% of Namibians in urban areas enjoying access to electricity in 2011 only 19% rural households has access.