Ministry taken to  task over electricity

Ministry taken to task over electricity

MASERU– THE Ministry of Energy was on Tuesday taken to task for failing to install electricity in some places in Qacha’s Nek and Quthing districts.
Parliament’s Natural Resources Committee said the ministry had dismally failed to install power in various villages such as Ha-Sekake, a peri-urban area between Quthing and Qacha’s Nek towns.
Those places were covered in the budget for 2018/19 financial year and the committee heard that the ministry had however failed to install electricity.

The Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Energy, ’Mathabo Mahahamisa, said her ministry does not have enough vehicles.
“We also do not have enough employees such as deputy principal secretary (DPS) and finance director,” Mahahamisa said.
The Minister of Energy Professor Ntoi Rapapa said the position of finance director has been budgeted for the 2020/21 financial year.
The ministry said they only have vehicles which are confined to work for limited hours.
The Natural Resources Committee was chaired by MP Kimetso Mathaba who is the leader of the National Independent Party (NIP).

This happened a week after the Qacha’s Nek MP, Dr Pontšo Sekatle, complained in Parliament that her constituency was still to be electrified.
Dr Sekatle wanted answers why the ministry was failing to install electricity in the constituency.
Her complaint was supported by other MPs, who said it was unacceptable that the villages were still not electrified even though funds had been allocated for the project.
She said Qacha’s Neck relies on electricity imported from Matatiele in South Africa, which is totally unreliable.
“Places like Ha-Sekake desperately need electricity,” Dr Sekatle said.
She said when people in South Africa embark on strike, they cut off the electricity poles coming to Lesotho so that Basotho suffer.

In his budget speech last month, Finance Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro said the government was planning to build 10 mini-grids and 10 energy-centres in Mokhotlong, Thaba-Tseka, Mohale’s Hoek, Quthing and Qacha’s Nek districts.
Dr Majoro said this will electrify villages in these areas while easing the burden on the already existing electricity supply sources.
Only 43 percent of Lesotho households are connected to electricity, Dr Majoro said.
“Cabinet has directed that means be found to expedite the connection of the remaining households as well as all schools and health centres,” he said.

Thooe Ramolibeli


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