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BPC Compresses Debtors’ Book By P347m

PAULINE DIKUELO
Dr Stefan Schwarzfischer PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Botswana Power Corporation’s (BPC) debtors book has compressed to P210 million from P557 million that was recorded two years ago largely due to non-payment of power bills.

In 2016, the Corporation’s debtors’ book ballooned from P400 million largely due to non-payment of power bills by struggling mining companies choked by the international commodities crunch.

The Corporation’s chief executive officer Dr. Stefan Schwarzfischer noted that they are struggling to collect the outstanding amount adding that the owed money includes the outstanding bills as well as money from customers, which are within the payment period.

“Whenever a customer owes us some money, we send them a reminder until some time when we cut them off. While some come to negotiate payment terms with us, some don’t. With this mechanism, we are reducing situations where we are owed a lot of money and our customers are failing to pay,” he said.

However, in 2015, the Corporation adopted new, stricter credit control measures, which included credit blacklisting of defaulters.  By then the corporation noted that the main focal group at the time when announcing that they would be blacklisting defaulters was domestic debtors who owed P103 million in 2013, and with appropriate interventions the domestic debtors reduced to P23 million as at August 2016. According

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to the Corporation, the bulk of customer arrears were from charges on new connections on households and outstanding balances from the change- over to prepaid metres.

Meanwhile, the Corporation has embarked on a comprehensive renewable power development strategy in which they would develop and operate a 100MW Solar Power Plant. They would also develop and operate a mini hybrid power plant in 20 isolated villages at a total of 30MW and build 12 smaller Solar PV plants in dedicated villages as independent power producers.

“We would instal power storage containers all over Botswana in order to store power during the day and dispatch it at night. We require grants for this project,” he said.

Further the Corporation has plans to provide electricity connections to Botswana and cover the whole country in the next five years. In addition, they said they are working on reducing faults and outages as well as response times to their customers.

“BPC needs to establish a programme to connect customers faster and less expensive. We need to shift future investments and capacities from generations to distribution,” he said.



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