PDM upset over high fuel, electricity costs

Robert Kahimise

…as tariffs increase

The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) has voiced strong opposition to the recent announcements of increased fuel and electricity prices by the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Electricity Control Board (ECB).

They argue that these hikes pose a significant threat to the already strained economic conditions faced by citizens and businesses.

The ministry recently announced a fuel price increase of 70 cents per litre of petrol and 40 cents per litre of diesel, which will take effect tonight at midnight.

The new fuel prices at Walvis Bay will be N$23 per litre of petrol, N$22,17 per litre of diesel 50ppm and N$22,37 per litre of diesel 10ppm.

ECB chief executive Robert Kahimise announced that the board decided to adjust NamPower’s bulk tariff with an increase of 8%.

This brings the average transmission customer tariff from N$1,9856 to N$2,1444 per kilowatt hour (kWh) for the 2024/25 year.

In response, PDM says the decision to raise electricity tariffs comes at a time when households are grappling with the burden of high living costs, further straining already tight budgets.

“Many families are already struggling to make ends meet, and the additional cost of electricity may push them beyond their financial limits. Similarly, the escalation in fuel prices adds another layer of financial strain, impacting transportation costs and the overall cost of living,” the party says in a statement.

PDM says beyond the financial implications, the increase in electricity tariffs and fuel prices has significant ramifications for public health and safety.

“With the approach of the winter season, the inability to afford electricity may force households to resort to cold water baths, increasing the risk of health issues, such as malaria. This poses a serious threat to the well-being of Namibian citizens, particularly in regions already grappling with health challenges,” the statement reads.

PDM says the government must consider the long-term economic consequences of its decisions and prioritise the well-being of its citizens.

“PDM calls upon the Swapo-led government to reconsider its decision and explore alternative solutions to address the economic challenges facing the nation. Subsidising electricity and fuel prices is one such measure that could provide much-needed relief to struggling households and businesses,” they say.

The party says the government must implement comprehensive economic strategies aimed at stimulating growth and creating opportunities for all Namibians.

“Failure to address the concerns raised by PDM and other stakeholders could have far-reaching consequences for Namibia’s economy and social stability. It is imperative that the Swapo-led government listens to the voices of its citizens and takes proactive steps to mitigate the impact of rising living costs,” the statement reads.

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