Keetmanshoop gets loan for power upgrades

POWERED UP … The chairperson of the Keet- manshoop management commitee, Easter Isaacks and Development Bank of Namibia chief executive John Steytler. Photo: Ellen Albertz

The Municipality of Keetmanshoop in the //Kharas region has obtained a N$11,9-million loan from the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) to upgrade its electricity network.

The two parties signed the loan agreement on Monday.

DBN chief executive John Steytler described the agreement as a milestone for both the bank and the municipality with regards to funding local infrastructure development.

The bank continually seeks ways to invest in local authorities and their needs … As a development bank it is critical for us to be responsive to the needs of this growing nation and the infrastructure required to keep pace with the expansion of services required as the population growth increases,” he said.

The loan comes with a 10-year repayment period, with the repayment amount being built into the town’s electricity tariffs.

The chairperson of Keetmanshoop’s management committee, Easter Isaacks, on Monday said the municipality targeted improving its electricity network infrastructure and bulk service provision and maintaining water and electricity availability to its customers during the 2023/24 financial year.

He said the funds are designated for various electrical network upgrades at the town, electrification projects in the Tseiblaagte Extension 7 area and the implementation of automatic meter-reading systems.

The municipality was advised by the Electricity Control Board to implement power quality systems to ensure continuous access to electricity.

The municipality tabled a budget amounting to N$296,8 million this year after receiving the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development’s approval.

Keetmanshoop mayor McDonald Hanse says the council has budgeted an amount of N$120,4 million to be spent on electricity, which translates to 42,2% of the entire budget.

There was, however, a need for an additional N$11,9 million for the upgrading of electricity infrastructure, he says.

“For the additional N$11,9, the Keetmanshoop municipality applied to the DBN to upgrade its electricity infrastructure,” he says.

Hanse says N$79,9 million has been set aside for salaries, translating to 27% of the budget, while the remainder will mostly be spent on trading services, including water and electricity supply.

“This budget includes a N$5,8-million allocation from the central government, which will be used for bulk infrastructure services.

“We can see a clear increase in this N$296,8-million budget by 13,8%, compared to the N$255-million budget for the 2022/23 year,” she says.

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