Gobabis muni in the red

02 May 2021 | Government

Gobabis mayor Elvire Theron said the town currently owes NamPower N$13 million in arrears.
Theron, in a media statement, stated that the arrears inherited by the new municipal council stood at about N$14 million, however the council started payment negotiations with NamPower as soon as they took office in January 2021. After a meeting with NamPower’s Managing Director, Simson Haulofu, they successfully negotiated a repayment agreement and have thus far paid N$1 million on the arrears.
“We [Gobabis municipality] defaulted on a previous repayment agreement in the past and that contributed to NamPower taking a hard line,” Theron said.
She added the repayment agreement stretches over 24 months and it starts with a manageable amount and escalates every few months, adding that this is to allow the Gobabis municipality to apply corrective measures and bring their electricity sales into profit.

Illegal connections
Theron said that the municipality’s arrears come a long way and it is largely because of a loss on the sale of electricity for the past five years. The mayor explained that the loss on the sale of electricity is as a result of illegal electricity connections by residents, adding that due to this, N$51 million was lost over a period of 60 months.
“The bulk of the municipality’s losses are electricity theft and illegal bypasses; the secondary reason seems to be old as well as faulty electricity meters and to a lesser extent old infrastructure,” she said.
Theron said that as it stands, N$4.5 million is owed to Gobabis municipality by government; N$12 million by the business sector and N$26 million by residents. “This total of N$42.5 million is outstanding debt,” she said. – Nampa