The persistent power outages that have befallen the villages of Ramotswa, Gabane and Mochudi in as many days are set to continue into the next two weeks, the power utility said on Monday.
Incensed residents of Ramotswa, who have been experiencing blackouts on a daily basis as the mercury drops by the day, say the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) must up its service to justify the recent hike in power tariffs seeing how the power interruptions are almost always never announced.
The BPC says it has lost a 132/33kv grid transformer at the Mogoditshane substation that feeds the areas affected. The power corporation says this has left only two functional transformers hence the inadequate power supplies to the peri-urban villages.
“We have sent this faulty transformer for repairs in South Africa. Since it will take some time for repairs to be done, we are in the meantime supplying these areas from other points. This temporary solution is not ideal as there are some technical limits which cause inadequate supplies under this arrangement,” so says the BPC Marketing and Communications Manager, Tlhomamiso Selato.
The BPC says power cuts will continue to be experienced during peak times between 18.00 and 22.00 hrs as electricity consumption is very high, including the morning peak time of between 06.00 hrs and 10.00 hrs.
The corporation requests customers to use electricity sparingly by switching off geysers and all appliances that are not absolutely critical during peak times.
Meanwhile the BPC is seeking consultancy services for the proposed high voltage 400/220/132kV extension of its transmission grid in the North West Region and Chobe District, encompassing the villages of Shakawe, Maun and Pandamatenga.
The BPC says the 33kV power supply from Namibia, which feeds Shakawe and the surrounding villages, has reached its transfer limit and is unable to supply power requirements for the villages owing to low voltages and numerous interruptions experienced.
The government is currently in the process of electrifying other remote villages in the Ngami District, such as Kauxwi, Seronga and Gundigwa.