Troubled Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) has been allocated a significant amount in the proposed 2014/2015 budget to help maintain infrastructure and erect new transmission lines.
Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo said this week that government intended to address the demands for power supply by introducing developmental projects of the Brown and Green Fields for Morupule B, which both have an estimated power generation of 300 MW each.
The Minister said government was working on the expansion of the national grid to provide services to villages, agribusinesses, mining and tourism facilities.
“Government has budgeted P300 million for the construction of the Northwest Transmission Grid and Rakola Sub-station to provide power to the Northwest region and augment power in the South eastern region.
“Government will continue to ensure increased access to electricity from local sources, but this comes at a high cost and as such, it is expected that electricity tariffs will be periodically adjusted accordingly, to reflect the economic cost of supplying power,” he said.
This, Matambo said, was in realisation of the fact that power is one of the critical inputs towards productive investment. .
Matambo said continued technical problems at Morupule B Power Station have created uncertainty over the availability of power supply in the short to medium term.
In recognition of the importance of power supply to economic growth and ordinary lives in general, he said government has taken short and medium term measures to mitigate the impact of power supply shortage on the economy.
Matambo said government recognised water as yet another critical ingredient to economic growth and that it continued to exploit alternative water sources such as affluent waste water utilisation, grey water cycling and rain water harvesting.
This, he said, was to the fact that the country has been experiencing water shortages for both human and agricultural use due to recurring drought.
He said the first step in a process to ensure that water is properly positioned to meet the needs of the nation, has been development of the comprehensive National Water and Waste Water Policy which was approved by cabinet in 2012 and will be submitted for approval by Parliament this year.