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Where is the power?

Staff Writer
Where is the over 250mw of electricity secured during January to relieve the nation of continuous blackouts? That is the question as power outages continue in many parts of the country.

This week the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) proudly announced that it had secured more than 250mw of electricity to fill the deficit caused by reduction of supplies from South Africa. BPC said South Africa supplies Botswana with more than 250mw of power despite cutting its supply by 100mw at the beginning the year.

This week the corporation said it has entered an agreement with South Africa to supply Botswana with more power over and above the agreed 250mw. However, BPC did not immediately state how much extra power they are getting from South Africa. The corporation released a statement to allay fears that the power situation in the country will be worse than last year.

However the situation on the ground points to the contrary with power cuts becoming the order of the day in the country.

Meanwhile, the 100mw reduction by South Africa has been accompanied by what seems to be a robust strategy by the government of Botswana to get more power. 

First, a 70mw power station at

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Makalamabedi started operating on January 7, while a further 50mw of electricity has started pouring in from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Another 100mw power supply deal was concluded with Mozambique and Namibia this month to fill the shortfall.

Interestingly in 2008, over two million CLF bulbs were distributed to households and government institutions across the country in an effort to reduce power consumption quite significantly and thereby relieve the nation from outages.

In December last year, power outages started in all parts of the country, with the BPC confirming that they are running short by 150mw due to what they said were temporary hiccups in South Africa.

At the time, BPC spokesperson, Tlhomamiso Selato told Mmegi they had to embark on load shedding across the country because they experienced shortages following power generation constraints at Eskom, the South African power utility. However, BPC assured the nation that the Eskom problem was only temporary. It is not clear whether the problem is over or not now.



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