By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK Despite well-developed infrastructure compared to other SADC countries, the increasing reliance on electricity imports from South Africa is the biggest shortcoming of the Electricity Supply Industry (ESI). This is the view of the Chief Executive Officer of the Electricity Control Board, Siseho Simasiku, who yesterday handed some technical books to the Geology Department at the University of Namibia (Unam). The Vice Chancellor of Unam, professor Lazarus Hangula accepted the 12 books with a value of more than N$5 000. “The options available to Namibia to increase local electricity capacity are hydropower on the Kunene, Kavango and Orange rivers, gas from the Kudu gas field and renewable sources of energy. The development of the Kudu gas field and the construction of the 800 Mega-watt Combined cycle gas fired power plant at Oranjemund has been determined by government and the ESI to be priority projects and is therefore enjoying great attention,” Simasiku told those present. He said the government, with the assistance of his parastatal, has embarked on a process for the restructuring of the ESI covering regulatory, market and distribution reforms. “In this regard two REDs, namely Cenored and Erongo RED were created last year with Central and Southern REDs expected to be operational by July this year. The ECB is an important national institution that plays a critical role in the development of the electricity sector in particular and the national economy in general. Therefore the ECB decided to join government by involving itself in the national process for capacity building by means of scholarships and donations of educational materials, even in a small way,” Simasiku said. The CEO also mentioned that his company as part of its social responsibility is currently sponsoring two Namibian students undertaking engineering courses in South Africa as well as computer software to a school in the North as well as cash to two education circuits in Caprivi and Kavango. “We believe that the geology textbooks will make a difference, resulting in a wider exposure to the geology theory and a better pass rate at Unam,” he said. In a short speech prof Hangula thanked the ECB for the donation on behalf of Unam. “Many students enrolled at institutions of higher learning such as ours find it difficult to make ends meet. Books, much needed by university staff and students, are a very expensive commodity especially in Namibia. I was once told that books are soft-spoken masters of all times. Let us pay them due respect by using these books with care,” the VC urged stu-dents.
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