Take Ownership of Nored, Shareholders Urged

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By Engel Nawatiseb TSUMEB The Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the country’s first northern-based regional electricity distribution company (Nored) has cautioned shareholders against criticizing the company instead of rendering constructive advice to improve its operations. Sacky Kayone, also Governor of the Omusati region, stressed that shareholders should take ownership of Nored and should not be confused into believing that it carries the interest of a certain elite group. “Don’t join others in crucifying Nored; take ownership of it because all property and everything that relates to our company is a collective investment. Hence our visit to afford you an opportunity to direct interaction on specific concerns relating to your council vis a vis the execution of Nored’s functions.” Kayone was leading a high-powered delegation including Nored’s Chief Executive Officer Gottlieb Amanyanga to Tsumeb to consult and deliberate with the Oshikoto Regional Council on matters pertaining to the electricity supply industry in general and to specifics regarding Nored’s operations. The visit also aimed at rendering information to the shareholder (council) about the prevailing conditions on the ground relating to supply and distribution of electricity to customers. Kayone noted that there is a definite justifiable outcry from the public and political leadership on the current practice of charging the true costs of a new connection to individual households, while a huge capital investment is needed to extend the electricity network. He however indicated without elaborating, that the board has considered a draft policy in order to address what he termed the “injustice” caused to the concerned groups. The Nored board, said Kayone, has also directed its management to put together an Electrification Master Plan for its service area and also to seek funding for the implementation of the plan. The Senior Manager of Commercial Services at Nored, Toivo Shovaleka told New Era that good progress has been made during negotiations between NamPower and its Zambian counterpart, ZESCO, to construct a 220-kilovolt line from Victoria Falls to Katima Mulilo in order to redress electricity disruptions in the Caprivi region. He added that the power situation in the Caprivi region remains a matter for great concern to his company. A 66-kilovolt line supplies the region from Zambia but no new connections have been made to the grid since September 2003. He noted that the introduction of a modern Integrated Venting System enabled his company to immediately access all its service areas while stringent supply control ensured reliable and consistent supply of electricity to recipients. The company also commissioned a load flow study, short-circuit analysis and protection coordination for the Electricity Distribution Network within the supply area during 2004 in order to improve the quality of supply. Nored posted huge profits on ordinary activities after taxation during 2004 that amounted to N$5 644 839 after tax deduction of N$3 087 682. The company declared dividends to its shareholders late last year, a track record that has scored the company a leading brand as the torchbearer of the Reds in the country. Nored’s electricity supply and distribution license came into force on March 13, 2003 and will be valid for a period of 25 years, unless it is cancelled or transferred sooner under section 30 of the Electricity Act, 2000. Nored purchased electricity valued at N$47 713 849 from Namibia Power Corporation Limited during the past 12 months. The Local Authorities Electricity Company and Regional Councils Company each own 33,33 percent of the ordinary shares in Nored Electricity, while NamPower has a 33,33 percent interest in the company. Shovaleka appealed to corporate giants in the local industry to create more job opportunities for local citizens. “Our country’s future does not only lie in natural resources but in the calibre and potential of human resources too, thus in a global world that is fast becoming a relatively small market, our skills, wisdom, innovation and diligence will determine the survival and prosperity of our nation.” Shovaleka pointed out that his company, in collaboration with vocational training centres, has been facilitating job placements for practical training for students of those institutions in core activities. As part of the company’s Social Investment Programme, Nored reportedly extended financial contributions towards Ondangwa Old Age Home, the University of Namibia’s northern campus and the HIV Trust Fund in Rundu, as well as the provision of financial and material support to those affected by floods in the Caprivi region. The company also donated computers and related equipment to Ondumetana and Onamutayi primary schools, as well as the Oshakati Police Darts Club.