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Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWR)
Dr. P. H. K. Kedikilwe Addresses Tloaneng, Ramosenya
17/10/09
On the 11th MAY 2009 the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Honourable Dr. P. H. K. Kedikilwe addressed two kgotla meetings at the villages of Tloaneng and Ramosenya in the Kweneng South East District. In the main, the Minister's address aimed at informing the residents about pertinent issues prevalent in the realm of electricity in the country.

On the 11th MAY 2009 the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Honourable Dr. P. H. K. Kedikilwe addressed two kgotla meetings at the villages of Tloaneng and Ramosenya in the Kweneng South East District. In the main, the Minister's address aimed at informing the residents about pertinent issues prevalent in the realm of electricity in the country.

Speaking during the two meetings, the Minister commenced his presentations by informing residents of the two villages that several villages have been electrified through government's village electrification programmes (VEPs). He also informed the residents that some villages have benefited during installation of supply to major projects such as government institutions and other private or parastatals such as Botswana Telecommunication Corporation, Mascom and Orange. He further assured residents of the two villages of government's responsibility and commitment to supply electricity to all villages throughout the country but pointed out that absolute patience should be exercised in view of a diversity of challenges that the country is faced with.

Speaking to residents of Tloaneng, honourable Kidikilwe said that the village is partially electrified as the initial approach, besides budget constraints, was to give priority to potential customers. The village that was electrified last year around the month of October
has to date submitted about forty-five applications which were quoted and send back to the applicants. From the forty- five, only fifteen have been paid.

Furthermore, residents of the two villages were informed that supply network development and customer connection has been outsourced to contractors in the private sector and that the rates used for quoting customers for connections are derived from competitive bidding among pre-qualified contractors every six months. In addition, to ensure consistent quality and to minimize costs, contractors purchase construction material from Botswana Power Corporation stores in Gaborone and Francistown. The Minister emphasized that basic rates are the same throughout the country. However, he said that to account for the constructor's transport and setup costs, the basic rates are increased by a location factor that increases with the distance from Gaborone stores (locations in the south of the country) and from Francistown (locations in the north of the country).

The Minister pointed residents of the two villages to the prevailing problem of vandalism of very important property and the repercussions that normally ensue such actions. He sited theft of equipment such as circuit breakers from the Botswana Power Corporation transformers and kiosks. Honourable Kedikilwe also warned residents against stealing underground cables and earth wires from electricity poles. He said that stealing equipment and wires meant to protect customers from electricity leakages and faults, poses great risk to lives and property. He warned residents that stealing live equipment is risky to perpetrators as incidents of deaths and serious injuries have been recorded in the past. Besides the mentioned negatives, the quality of supply is normally adversely affected as customers often have to be without supply while the stolen equipment is being replaced. In pursuit of authenticity, the Minister informed the attendees that the replacement cost of vandalized equipment in a year is approximately 2.5 million.

In closing, residents were summoned to combat vandalism at all cost. The Minister said that for the good of the society and developments in the country, members of the public witnessing any light of vandalism should feel duty bound to report the acts to relevant authorities. Further, Scrap dealers were called upon to part take in the curbing of these practices by desisting from buying equipment, cables and wires suspected to be stolen.

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