Groot Aub residents distressed by lack of electricity provision

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Residents of Groot Aub have expressed distress over the City of Windhoek’s (CoW) inability to provide them with electricity since the settlement was incorporated into the capital five years ago.

In September 2017, CoW incorporated Groot Aub under the Windhoek Rural electoral constituency, where currently all municipal services are provided by the City of Windhoek except electricity distribution, which is still the responsibility of the Namibia Power Corporation (NamPower).

Speaking at a community meeting here recently, activist and resident of Groot Aub, Cecil Titus, said 80 per cent of households at the settlement do not have electricity despite several calls by residents for CoW to fast-track the provision of electricity.

Titus stressed that since the proclamation the provision of municipal services, especially electricity, was never realised, which led to illegal power connections from residents who acquired electricity when the settlement was under the Windhoek Khomas Regional Council and NamPower was accountable for the installation of electricity.

He noted that due to land scarcity, many people have flocked to Groot Aub for residential purposes, however, they are challenged by the lack of electricity installation.

“When Groot Aub was under the regional council, NamPower was responsible for the provision of electricity, however now that mandate is taken over by CoW we are suffering. We are tapping electricity from house to house and the risk involved is that almost every second day there is a power outage due to excessive demand,” he fumed.

CoW spokesperson, Harold Akwenye, in an interview with Nampa on Friday said the City has not taken over the electricity assets yet since 2017, noting that attempts have been made on several occasions to take over the electrical infrastructure of Groot Aub. These attempts were however unsuccessful as NamPower requires compensation for the asset alienation to CoW.

He explained that there is a verbal agreement between the housing, property management and human resettlement department and NamPower that all new electricity applications must be reconfirmed to allow for new electrical infrastructure to be installed according to the township layout plan of CoW.

“The council recently deliberated on how to fast-track the developments in Groot Aub.

The strategic executive for electricity at CoW will now again approach NamPower and other private entities in the extended boundaries of Windhoek to negotiate the take-over of electrical infrastructure assets,” he said.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency