Illegal electricity connections negatively affect City’s revenue

WINDHOEK; The City of Windhoek says illegal electricity connections are negatively affecting its revenue which it needs to deliver service and meet its repayment obligation to its main supplier, NamPower.

This was said by the City of Windhoek’s Manager of Corporate Communications, Marketing, Tourism and Customer Care, Josua Amukugo during a media briefing here on Tuesday.

He said the alarming increase in illegal electricity connections mainly in the informal settlements not only poses a safety risk to people living there, but also poses a risk for the City’s revenue.

The City of Windhoek removes between 20 and 30 illegal electricity connections every month.

“Illegal electricity connections pose a threat to the supply chain which has to ensure that the City continues to provide power to its residents at a sustainable level,” he said.

He noted that the City of Windhoek does budget yearly for the electrification of informal settlements and provides mass lighting and direct electricity for domestic houses, and urged residents of informal settlements who do not yet have electricity to be patient.

“We are hereby urging residents to patiently wait for their turn when their areas will get to be connected to the power supply lines,” he stated.

He said such illegal connections amongst others involve residents who are legitimately connected to the power grid, but who by-pass their electricity meters to illegally supply electricity to others who are not connected for profit.

“The loss to the City is not only in revenue but also in the damage to the City’s electricity infrastructure as the illegal connections lead to overloading of network equipment, thereby instantly damaging the equipment and shortening lifespan,” he said.

Amukogo said it also compromises the quality of Windhoek’s power supply as it leads to a huge number of forced interruptions or blackouts as a result of the system being overloaded.

He added that the areas that are mostly affected by illegal electricity connections are informal settlements and houses bordering un-electrified informal settlements in areas such as Havana, Goreangab Dam, Hakahana and Okuryangava.

Amukugo said although offenders receive fines of N.dollars 4 000 or immediately have their electricity disconnected, this does not seem to stop them from repeating the offence.

He indicated that people who are aware of illegal electricity connections should report such cases to the City’s electricity control room.