FRANCISTOWN: Business activities have been severely disrupted by constant power cuts in the Tutume area.
Tutume Sub-district council chairperson, Ishmael Mokgethi said the council is deeply worried that power outages have become a regular occurrence in most of the areas within the sub-district.
Mokgethi was officially opening an ordinary council meeting late last week. He said many businesses have expressed concern that they are making huge losses as a result of regular power outages. He further noted that beside businesses, common people also suffer from the problem.
“Some of these power cuts even occur without prior communication from the power service providers so that businesses and residents can at least prepare themselves,” he said.
The sub-district chairperson added that the situation is compounded by the constant water shortages in villages within the sub-district.
“The situation is very worrisome and needs urgent attention. I will have to meet with these parastatals (Botswana Power Corporation and Water Utilities Corporation) so that they at least give us an explanation to these occurrences and relay the concerns raised by the business community and residents. It is not easy for a business to thrive without consistent power supply,” Mokgethi said.
To ease the problem, some businesses have resorted to using mobile generators during load shedding. They however bemoan that using generators is very expensive. Major maintenance works and the destruction caused by heavy rains have been cited as the major source of power and water supply problems with the sub district in recent weeks.
In January areas from Dukwi, to Nata and Maun were without electricity, adversely affecting homes and businesses. Dukwi and Nata also fall with Tutume Sub-district.
Consumers took to social media to express anger over the blackouts, while pictures of damaged perishables were also shared on social media.
Last month The Monitor’s sister publication Mmegi reported that one major retail store in Maun reportedly threw out perishable goods worth tens of thousands of pula recently because fridges were not functioning owing to power outages.
The power interruption reportedly came as a result of five collapsed towers on the Francistown-Dukwi 132kV line.