Khama, BPC mislead on load shedding?
Information reaching The Gazettefrom impeccable sources allege that government, in particular President Ian Khama, Minerals,Energy and Water Resources Minister Kitso Mokaila and Botswana Power Corporation (BPC)have mislead Batswana into thinking that load shedding has ended while in actual fact it has not. A few days after this publication was reliably informed by an insider at BPC that load shedding will continue under the pretext of regular maintenance. The information was corroborated by the corporation Chief Executive Officer, Jacob Raleru, who told Botswana Television news last Thursday that they are experiencing some problems at the newly built Morupule B power plant, something which he confirmed will lead to power outages.According to an insider at BPC who spoke to this publication on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation, Batswana were deliberately misled by both BPC and the government that load shedding was a thing of the past.
According to the source, load shedding has always been there even after July31st, a date that President Khama promised the nation as a dead line for no more load shedding . “Power cuts will not end soon; the type of equipment used at the newly built plant is fake and therefore unable to generate power. The corporation was worried that it was failing to provide electricity to the nation and resorted to deceit,this no more load shedding thing was just a tactic to make Batswana believe that there was progress made,” alleged the source.The source told The Gazette days before his CEO appeared on BTV that, “this is what is going to happen, load shedding is going to continue but it is planned that every time Batswana enquire about power cuts they will be told that maintenance was going on either in the affected area or at the plant itself.
There is no such thing as maintenance in progress, it’s load shedding” he said.A Gazette investigation revealed that on Sunday 11th August,there were power cuts in Radisele Village from 1400hrs- 1900hrs, on Thursday 15th power cuts were reported in Block 7, Gaborone from0730hrs, and still on the same day Gaborone International Commerce Park (GICP) experienced power outage from 1130hrs.BPC spokesperson, Spencer Moreri refuted claims that there was load shedding under the guise of routine maintenance. “Load shedding is when demand for electricity is higher than the supply.When that happens we try to balance the mismatch by cutting power to avoid imbalance. Even if we said load shedding is the thing of past, people must acknowledge that sometimes our transmission lines get affected either by lightning especially during raining seasons.
There is also planned maintenance which we are bound to do,and sometimes it is the issue of expanding our transmission lines to other houses, we have to switch off electricity in that area to be able to perform that and obviously people will be affected by the power cuts. But with all our units running, load shedding will be the thing of the past. We are currently having technical challenges that we are addressing,” he said He also refuted allegations that fake equipment is to blame for the technical problems experienced at the newly built plant. “That issue has been cleared; the quality of equipment has been checked and assured by our engineers. Other companies have been called to help with their technical know how and they too assured us of the quality of the equipments,” he said confidently.