SELCo deal seen as hindrance to Southern RED

SELCo deal seen as hindrance to Southern RED

THE controversial electricity contracts that some local authorities have signed with a South African company could hamper the establishment of the Southern Regional Electricity Distributor (Southern RED).

The Southern Electricity Supply Company (SELCo) has entered into exclusive 15-year contracts to run the electricity networks of almost all local authorities in the Hardap and Karas regions, sparking widespread unhappiness and protests from residents over escalating electricity costs. The Electricity Control Board’s Legal Advisor, Jackie Scholz, told The Namibian that the board would soon arrange a meeting with local authorities and SELCo to find a solution acceptable to all parties.Giving an overview on corporate governance and legal issues to local councillors at Keetmanshoop on Monday, Scholz said the ECB did not want to expose them to damages claims, therefore a legally correct approach was needed to find a amicable solution.However, she pointed out that only Southern RED would be granted a licence to distribute electricity in the Karas and Hardap regions.”No islands will be allowed within REDs,” she said.The Namibian has learnt from a reliable source within the Keetmanshoop local authority that an attorney in the Attorney General’s office, who had been assigned to deal with SELCo issue, had left.This caused a delay in solving the SELCo saga, as a new attorney had to study the SELCo documents first, the source said.The Electricity Control Board’s Legal Advisor, Jackie Scholz, told The Namibian that the board would soon arrange a meeting with local authorities and SELCo to find a solution acceptable to all parties.Giving an overview on corporate governance and legal issues to local councillors at Keetmanshoop on Monday, Scholz said the ECB did not want to expose them to damages claims, therefore a legally correct approach was needed to find a amicable solution.However, she pointed out that only Southern RED would be granted a licence to distribute electricity in the Karas and Hardap regions.”No islands will be allowed within REDs,” she said.The Namibian has learnt from a reliable source within the Keetmanshoop local authority that an attorney in the Attorney General’s office, who had been assigned to deal with SELCo issue, had left.This caused a delay in solving the SELCo saga, as a new attorney had to study the SELCo documents first, the source said.

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