The Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security has indicated that Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) should increase electricity prices until it reaches cost reflective prices, as government wants to stop supply of revenue used to subsidize consumer electricity tariffs.
Over the past five years, government has reduced annual tariff subsidy from around P1.5 billion, to P600 million in 2021 and plans to further reduce the subsidy to P500 million in 2022 and 2023 due to financial constraints, according to projections from the Ministry. The projections show that with effect from 2024 government could completely stop the subsidy.
In the new government National Energy Policy (NEP), which is intended to guide the development of the energy sector in the country for the next 20 years, the Ministry indicated that BPC should strive to reach financial sustainability through gradual migration to competitive electricity tariffs and further reduce reliance on government financial support.
“The goal of the NEP is to among others ensure that BPC electricity tariffs are set in way that will balance the interests of power suppliers and consumers and promote adequate supply of energy in order to facilitate sustainable economic development for Botswana. This goal will be realized only if BPC ensure cost recovery for energy supply and delivery through adoption of cost-reflective tariffs,” said the Ministry.
In the policy report the Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Lefoko Moagi said Botswana offers one of the cheapest electricity prices when compared to other countries in Southern Africa.
“Electricity prices are at an average 106 thebe per kWh, for domestic use. This tariff is however, not cost-reflective and it is subsidized by the government to help BPC recover its costs.The new policy says end-user electricity prices should be set at a level that correctly reflect fixed and variable costs and convey relevant price signals to encourage efficiency,” said the Minister.
In addition, the minister said BPC is faced with high costs that come from constant use of Orapa and Matshelagabedi ‘emergency diesel power plants to augment power shortages and high volumes of electricity imports from South Africa to augment shortages.
“Orapa which has an installed capacity of 90MW and 70 MW Matshelagabedi plants are operated by BPC and due to Morupule A and B having not been operating at full capacity due to their varying challenges, local demand could not be fully satisfied. As such, there are instances when the Orapa and Matshelagabedi generation plants are operating on fulltime basis as opposed to being used as peaking plants to augment the supply shortage. Where the peak demand cannot be met, the shortages are augmented through imports from Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) mainly South Africa and Namibia. These imports are not only costly to the economy, but are also compromising the energy security of the country,” said the Minister.
The custodian of the NEP is the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security and its implementation is spearheaded by the state-owned utility, Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) for electricity and added that regulation matters are handled by the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA).
BERA, a parastatal established to among others, regulate prices for electricity confirmed that, BPC wants to increase electricity prices by 5 percent in April this year for all its customers and further hike prices by 3 percent in 2023, in its bid to migrate to cost reflective tariffs and reduce reliance on government.
Prices for cereals or staple foods in Botswana and other Southern African countries continue to rise at a slower pace, following trends in the global markets, according to the latest November 2022 Food Price Monitoring and Analysis by Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
Running a digital businessMTN Business Solutions Botswana, popularly known as MTN Business is an Internet Service Provider. We are a subsidiary of MTN Group Limited, a multinational telecommunications Group headquartered in South Africa, which operates in 19 markets across Africa and the Middle East.
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For MTN, the focus has shifted from just being a core telecommunications services provider, towards also becoming a technology solutions provider. The service offering now also includes Unified Communications, Data Hosting and Cloud Solutions, Security-As-A-Service and Managed Network Services. The scope has changed to being client and industry specific, so the requirements and service portfolio vary from one client to the next. The expectation is that a company like MTN must respond to these challenges, helping clients to get business done better as they shift from old to new technologies.
As many businesses continue to grapple with a digitally dynamic world, they face new challenges that have to be solved. This environment will benefit those that are more digitally enabled and agile. It is a brave new world that will favour online over on-site, wireless over wired and fluid over formulaic. Businesses will seek out partners and suppliers that are every bit as flexible and forward-looking as they are.
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Botswana Institution Of Engineers (BIE), has last week hosted a gala dinner in which they appreciated engineers who worked tirelessly and with dedication for 10 years from 1983 to steer the BIE to its current status.
The event that was held at the Phakalane Golf Estate had brought together young, experienced and veteran engineers and was held under the theme “Vitalize the dignity and eminence of all professional engineers”.
Explaining the theme, the institution’s treasurer, Thanabalasingam Raveendran said that engineers were looked upon reverentially with respect as the educated but with time it seems to have deteriorated. He indicated that there is a need to change the narrative by all means.
“The BIE exists for the welfare and the betterment of us Botswana engineers, we need to recognize specialised units within our Institution. We Engineers strongly believe in Engineers make it happen” Raveendran said.
He indicated that under the theme they appeal to all engineers to energize, to attain quality of being worthy of honour and respect and to achieve recognized superiority amongst the Society.
Raveendran stated that engineers need to ensure their end product is of good quality satisfying the end users expectations and engineers must be honest in their work.
“Approximately 8000 engineers registered with Engineering Regulatory Board (ERB) are not members of the BIE, engineers need to make every effort to recruit them to BIE” he said.
He alluded that BIE being a society, it currently needs to upgrade itself at par with professional institutions elsewhere like the UK and USA.
He further stated that BIE has to have engineering units of specialised disciplines like Civil/Mechanical/electrical etc
“As President Masisi indicated in his inaugural speech, the young people, who make 60 percent of the population of this country, are the future leaders and therefore investing in them is building the bridge to the future” said Raveendran
Kandima indicated that BIE has a memorandum of Understanding with Engineers Registration Board (ERB), where BIE is a recognised provider of CPD training, mentorship programmes and more importantly IPD undertaking to upgrade the skills and know-how of our engineers.
“For us to achieve our mandate and make worthwhile changes to engineering in Botswana, we have to be totally focused and act with intent” said Kandima.
Furthermore, Stephen Williams, past president of the BIE from 1986-1988 told the engineers that the BIE provides a fertile environment where they can meet, share ideas and grow professionally.
“The BIE is also a nesting place for graduate engineers to learn from their peers and seniors, it also cater for engineering technicians and technologists and so nobody in the technology field is left out” he said.
He further indicated that Botswana Government provides a conductive environment for growth of engineering professionals.
“It must be stated that the Botswana Government recognises the existence of BIE and it can further be stated that the government enables ERB to carry out its mandate as a regulator of engineering professionals” said Williams
He plead with engineering companies to recognize and support BIE as it is the only source of engineering personnel’s for various Industries .
Furthermore, when giving his farewell speech, Michael Pinard , a past president of the institution said how they are viewed as engineers by the general public might be due to some lack of appreciation as to exactly what role they play in the development of the country.
“The BIE slogan is aptly coined-Engineers make it happen, in other words, what man dreams engineers create” Said Pinard.