Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Two gov’t ministries owe P90m to down-the-hill BPC

While an accusing finger could be pointed to the leadership of the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) for below standard power charges culminating into the organisation’s financial gains, the same could be done to the government ministries who default in payments for services rendered.

Leading the pack is the ministries of education and health which currently owe a whopping P90 million for the power services rendered.

“One option is for the ministries to pay in advance. We will consider the possibility with the Ministry of Finance,” revealed BPC official Rebecca Mogadla, responding to the query by Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Bodies member, Pius Mokgware.

BPC authorities appeared before the committee last week for audit of the financial year ending March.

Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Member of Parliament Mokgware demanded that power be shut down for the ministries for default, earning scorn from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)’s MP Samson Guma Moyo, who chairs the committee.

 “Do not listen to him. They want to benefit from such a political move. They say they are taking over power in 2019,” he snided.

Also under the spotlight during the proceedings was the BPC’s subsidy on power charges with Mokgware wondering why the corporation was operating at a loss despite enjoying monopoly in the industry.

For him the parastatal could be in the wrong hands, earning yet another snide from Moyo who remarked: “How could you expect them to make profit when they are operating on subsidised charges. How can they make profit when they are not operating on commercial rates?”

With the advent of the power regulator recently passed by Parliament, Mogadla is convinced BPC will in the near future make profit.

“Currently we are selling at loss. We are unable to even meet the production costs,” she concluded.

Owing to the current status as a public institution, BPC sells electricity at lower prices.

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The Telegraph October 28

Digital edition of The Telegraph, October 28, 2020.