Power punch

Baitshepi Sekgweng
SET FOR CHANGE: BPC want a tariff increase

BPC seek 5 percent tariff increase

Having seen their attempts to secure a tariff increase rejected by Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) last year, Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) are set to try their luck again.

Confirming the potentially bad news in a public notice this week, BERA revealed BPC have proposed a 5 percent adjustment to be enforced at the start of the next financial year (April 2023).

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Along with a P500 million subsidy from government, the power corporation believe this will help them reach an operating income of P5.4 billion over two years.

BPC are reportedly left with little option but to seek a tariff adjustment after suffering recurring financial losses caused by non-cost effective tariffs, increasing cost of imported power, low availability of Morupule Power B just to mention a few.

For the longest time, Morupule Power B Station has struggled with defects and maintenance while operating at well below capacity, gobbling millions from the government for repairs. As a result, BPC has resorted to relying heavily on imported power in order to supplement the local demand (see Business lead 1A).

If the tariff adjustment is approved, it will be a major blow for individual households, with electricity already deemed expensive. To make matters worse, the whole nation is reeling in the pain and the discomfort of escalating inflation.

The Voice reached out to local economist, Boipelo Sekeinyane, who glumly predicted a further adjustment will affect Batswana who are already in deep economic hardships.

“Cost of living is high for an ordinary Motswana because salaries and payments are low. So, a further increase in prices of electricity will plunge Batswana into a state of despair. Already fuel prices and basic food commodity prices are high so there is going to be much impact because business will also feel the pinch, too, and increase prices of commodities further,” she warned.

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