LEC switches off  airport over debt

LEC switches off airport over debt

MASERU = THE Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) has switched off power at the Moshoeshoe I International Airport over a staggering M3 million debt.
The airport has not had electricity for the past two weeks.
Ntumelleng Ntšekhe, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Works which manages the airport, confirmed that the LEC had switched off electricity at the airport.

She however could not confirm how much the ministry owes to the LEC.
“What I know is that we owe the LEC but I’m not sure of the amounts,” she said.
Sources at the airport said the situation was so bad that it had now resorted to using generators to allow passengers to check in.
Ntšekhe said the ministry was battling a serious financial crisis that had left them failing to meet some of their obligations.
She said they had received less money than they had requested from the Ministry of Finance to allow them to pay off their suppliers.

That is why we have been failing to pay our electricity bill at the airport, she said.
The LEC disconnected electricity at the airport on October 1 in an attempt to push the ministry to settle the debt.
A memo seen by thepost said the airport is currently powering all essential services using two generators, one for the terminal building and the other for the ATC Tower.
But in a bid to preserve fuel, the generators are only being switched on when the Airlink flight from South Africa is being expected.
The generators are running from 1400hrs until 1800hrs, according to the memo.

In the event the flight is in the morning, they will run from 0600hrs until 1200hrs.
“We are aware that this has caused serious disruptions to other services provided at the airport including the terminal building,” Airport General Manager, one Sekonyela, said in the memo.
He said the current situation at the airport is highly regrettable.

Sekonyela apologised for any inconveniences the current crisis had caused.
He said they are working tirelessly to get the matter resolved.
The power crisis at the airport has added more woes to the airport which has in the past faced severe criticism that it no longer meets international standards.

Majara Molupe

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