By Elvis Muraranganda
REGIONAL electricity distributor, NORED, has issued the University of Namibia (Unam) Hifikepunye Pohamba Campus in the Ongwediva, with a letter of demand, over its unpaid bill of N$296 782.
It also threatened to discontinue electricity supply to the campus, and did so, temporarily, on Tuesday. The unfolding crisis comes at a time when students are sitting for their mid-term exams.
In a letter dated 25 April, which has been seen by Confidente, NORED warns Unam that it will cut off its supply, due to “overdue accounts”.
NORED Finance Manager, Christoph Aimwata, further informed the institution of higher learning that it is experiencing problems with the pace at which payments are received.
He added that Unam has four accounts with NORED, and the problematic one is the “electricity consumption account”.
“We reached a point where the outstanding debts are affecting our cash flow, and hence our operations. We are in a business where we buy power in bulk, and distribute it to the end-users,” Aimwata writes.
“Non-payment by end-users makes it difficult for NORED to honour its obligations to the bulk suppliers, a situation that may lead to regional power cuts.”
Aimwata said that NORED is demanding that Unam immediately settles the account by 8 May.
“In the event that we cannot receive a settlement, we are hereby also giving special notice that power will be cut on 9 May, at any time from 08h00, without any further notice.”
Unam spokesperson, Simon Namesho, acknowledged receipt of the questions sent to him by Confidente, and promised to “peruse, and liaise with the relevant offices”.
Among the questions asked were what had caused the non-payment, how Tuesday’s electricity cut-off had affected students, who are preparing for and writing exams.
Confidente also wanted to know if plans were in the pipeline to resolve the matter.
Officials at the campus confirmed to Confidente that NORED had temporarily halted their supply on Tuesday, but that it has since been restored.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015