The Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Bodies Samson Guma Moyo expressed concern that the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) is skewed in favor of individual households regarding power connecting services, failing therefore to extend the same manner of service to commercial businesses.
“It will take even 6 months period for the commercial entity to get connected while for the individual households it is easy to get connected with electricity. What I am saying is that you should strike a balance between the commercial entities and the individual households,” argued Moyo when BPC leadership appeared before the Committee last Friday.
He added, “You should not render social responsibility at the expense of economic growth. The money accrued from these commercial enterprises will be used even for the infrastructure services for these individual households.”
Moyo put it clearly that the service provisioning to the two clients being commercial businesses and individual household should be carried out in recognition of the weight each exerts on the economy.
“You are dependent on Government for funds and technically you are bankrupt. It is simple economic terms of demand and supply,” Moyo said, underlining the importance to seize the opportunity to connect commercial entities with power in time and expeditiously thereby stimulating economic growth in the process.
Although considered a commercial enterprise, BPC has acquired its infamous tag as a loss operating entity, a factor which appeared to trouble Pius Mokgware, who sits on the Parliament Committee, for reason that the Corporation has the monopoly over the sale of power energy.
Moyo mentioned that the Corporation is operating on subsidized rates rather than normal commercial rates, hence rendering the Corporation to operate at a loss. He therefore called for a change in the conduct of business for the Corporation to start turning profits, a suggestion that was supported by BPC official Rebecca Mogadla.
“We have even approached the Government over the issue which has affected the performance of the plant. But with the advent of the power regulator we hope some of the conduct of business will have to be changed,” said Mogadla. “It is because we are not selling at commercial rates that there is such a huge loss unable to meet production costs,” she concluded.