Landless People’s Movement leader Bernadus Swartbooi has threatened to deal with the country’s power utility, NamPower, if they go ahead with plans to cut off defaulters’ electricity supply in the south.
The debt collection plan, which involves the suspension of electricity to defaulting customers, was prompted by long overdue accounts by some NamPower customers, with the total amount owed estimated to be in the region of N$800 million.
The local authorities include LPM-run towns and villages such as Maltahöhe, Bethanie, Gibeon, Koës, Tses, Leonardville, Kalkrand, Stampriet, Karasburg and Aranos. Other local authorities are Witvlei, Rehoboth, Okahandja, and Gobabis. Swartbooi claimed Swapo was “politicising” the electricity issue in order to discredit LPM.
“Never in my life even as a governor have I seen a utility company bombarding two regions announcing in the media that such and such a day we are going to switch off electricity supply, never,” Swartbooi said while addressing journalists yesterday in Windhoek. Swartbooi said the NamPower debt at the affected local authorities was historical, claiming it was caused by the previous regime.
“The question we are asking is, where do electricity lines (poles) that come into this country, the majority of them, through which region are they flowing? Is through those two regions. Once they switch of the south, the south can switch off Namibia,” he warned.
“Switch off the south, NamPower, switch off …then we will switch off the rest of Namibia. Because you will not be able to protect each and every power line. We will teach NamPower a lesson. Since this is a political thing, the safety of the powerline will not be guaranteed,” Swartbooi said.
Meanwhile, NamPower spokesperson Tangeni Kambangula earlier this week said electricity supply to defaulting customers was suspended for four hours on Monday from 11h00 to 15h00. “If no arrangement is made by these customers with NamPower by the end of this week, the customers will move to stage two, which involves the suspension of electricity supply for eight hours over the period of two days,” stated Kambangula.
She added that the suspension of electricity supply to customers in arrears will continue until acceptable arrangements have been made or the accounts have been settled in full. “After the announcement, some customers responded positively and came up with commitments to bring their accounts up-to-date or settle their arrears,” Kambangula explained. firstname.lastname@example.org