More Villages Get Electricity


The Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Mr Kitso Mokaila, says 10 villages will be connected with electricity in the 201516 financial year.

Tabling his ministry’s 201516 budget proposals, he told Parliament that overall, 378 out of 492 villages had been connected. He said 27 of those villages were connected in the current financial year, while 14 had their networks extended.

“Currently work is ongoing to extend electricity networks in 10 villages. In addition, 10 villages are proposed to be electrified during the financial year 201516 as well as electricity distribution network extension in 24 villages,” Mr Mokaila said.

He said villages that will be connected were Mmatseta, Tewane, Sehunou, Kutamogoree, Lorolwane, Moremi, Botlhatlogo, Sexaxa, Gakgatla and Semane.

“Efforts to continually extend the grid countrywide will continue but more emphasis needs to be diverted to ensuring that the already installed infrastructure is put to maximum use,” Mr Mokaila said.

He added that the National Electrification Standard Connection Cost which started in 2010 is progressing well, with 42, 197 out of 69,162 customers having been connected to date.

He said the National Electrification Fund has accumulated P781.6 million, with P380.7 million having been used as subsidy to date.

Mr Mokaila requested for P3.7 billion as budget for his ministry for the 201516 financial year, and Parliament approved the request. The monies include P381.3 million recurrent estimates and P3.316 billion development estimates.

Over P200 million from the recurrent estimates will be spent by the ministry’s headquarters while the development estimates will cover among others renewable energy and power development, coal and petroleum development, mineral exploration, and water planning and development.

While Members of Parliament supported the budget, there were a lot of complaints about lack of electricity in some villages.

Okavango MP, Mr Bagalatia Arone urged the ministry to consider connecting electricity at Seronga and Xhakao villages in his constituency, while Good HopeMabule MP Mr James Mathokgwane asked for Sekhutlane village to be electrified.

Mr Liakat Kablay asked for electricity connection at Boatlaname, Diphuduhudu, Monwane and Loologane in his Letlhakeng Lephephe constituency, while Mr Prince Maele said villages of Moremi, Manaledi, and Mokungwane in his LeralaMaunatlala constituency lack electricity. Ms Botlogile Tshireletso of Mahalapye East complained that Makwate village has no electricity, while Mr Ngaka Ngaka said the same issue is prevailing at Khekhenye in the Takatokwane constituency.

Mr Ndaba Gaolathe, Gaborone Bonnington South MP urged the minster to consider alternative sources of electricity such as solar and gas to improve electricity supply.

He said production of electricity from gas was cheaper compared to using coal.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News