Keetmans finalises joint power venture

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Matheus Hamutenya

Keetmanshoop-Keetmanshoop Municipality and Erongo RED are in the process of ironing out the finer details of their impending electricity supply partnership at Keetmanshoop.

The electricity supply and management contract of the Southern Electricity Company (SELCo) comes to an end this month.

Following the recent confusion over what firm would take over electricity distribution at Keetmanshoop, the municipality has now confirmed responsibility for electricity distribution would revert back to the municipal authorities.

Meanwhile, some have questioned whether the municipality has the capacity to take over electricity distribution.

Recent reports that the //Kharas and Hardap regions would establish a Southern Red (SORED) only compounded the confusion.

Keetmanshoop municipality chief executive officer Desmond Basson at one point conceded that Erongo RED would have no interest in a joint venture for the short period from June to the end of the year, when they planned to have SORED up and running.

Circumstances appear to have changed and the municipality and Erongo RED are now in talks to sort out details of an agreement to form a joint venture to supply and manage electricity at the town.

Basson confirmed the municipality would take over from SELCo, and with the assistance and technical advice of Erongo RED manage the town’s electricity supply.

He ruled out SORED as an option for Keetmanshoop right now, because the entity did not yet exist.

“SORED is not in existence, and therefore cannot do anything and until it is established the municipality will take over with the assistance of Erongo RED,” he said.

Because negotiations were still under way they had not yet agreed on which party would take responsibility for the various functions and responsibilities, but Basson remained positive they would sort out those details soon.

Although he confirmed the partnership, Basson could not give further details of the deal and said it was premature to go into specific details while talks were still underway.

“I cannot divulge any more information about that, but I can tell you all the details once everything has been agreed to,” he said.

SELCo has been responsible for electricity provision at the town for the last 16 years.

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