Minister concerned about negative impact of high electricity costs on productive sectors of Namibian economy

WINDHOEK: Minister of Trade and Industry Calle Schlettwein is concerned about the negative impact of high electricity costs on the productive sectors of the Namibian economy, particularly on manufacturing.

The high costs of electricity in Namibia have put a significant burden on all customer groups, but particularly the productive sector, commercial and industrial consumers, who are responsible for driving the economic growth of the country, he said today during the one-day Namibia Energy Policy forum in Windhoek.

As a key input in many production processes, Schlettwein explained, electricity and its prices matter for the general competitiveness of the Namibian economy.

He said it does not seem as if the future will bring much relief to electricity users. This year, NamPower announced a minimum 15 per cent annual increase in costs for the next few years.

Schlettwein said this puts Namibia on a dangerous long-term trajectory of ever-increasing electricity costs with end-user prices projected to already double within 10 years.

As a result, he said, Namibia’s potential to industrialise will surely be eroded and competitiveness will be further reduced, in addition to the escalation of the cost of living.