BERA CEO defends BPC failures
The Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) have defended the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) decision to hike electricity tariffs and its failed Morupule B power plant stating that it’s being resuscitated.
Appearing before the Committee on Statutory Bodies and State Enterprises, the BERA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Rose Seretse faced her fears when she raised the controversial issue of the BPC decision to hike tariffs which resulted in many members of the public expressing their outrage towards the power entity.
Addressing MPs on issues which the organisation she heads oversees, Seretse said increasing electricity fees was a necessary devil.
“The Authority reviewed BPC tariffs,” she said. “The Authority awarded BPC a tariff of 10 percent to BPC in 2018.”
Seretse said in 2019 BPC wasn’t awarded tariff hikes hence the 22 percent effected in April 2020.
“I know it didn’t sit well with ordinary citizens (but going forward) BPC needs to conduct its affairs in a sound commercial line,” said Seretse.
Even so, she defended BPC stating that its prices is amongst the lowest in the SADC region.
Asked to comment on the state of the Morupule B power plant, Seretse told MPs that it’s a work in progress.
“There is hope in as far as Morupule B is concerned,” she asserted adding that “The delay in commissioning the plant was due to Covid-19.”
The BERA Chief Executive further said the situation is now normal and the contractors will be back in Botswana to resume work in March 2021.
“The remaining units will be done in sequences and we are working with BPC to track progress,” she said.
Delving into matters pertaining to BERA the CEO emphasised that they have been able to overcome structural issues that engulfed the organisation for the longest time.
Since its inception in 2017, BERA has always made headlines for all the wrong reasons some of which includes allegations on corruption and bad corporate governance.
However, Seretse said that is all in the past as the BERA Act was amended to clear the mess at the institution.
BERA is an energy regulatory authority tasked with the objective to ensure that they maintain best international regulatory practice over and above maintaining service standards within the energy sector.