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TOUGH TALK: Dineo Seleke

Business

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  • BPC disconnect over 1, 600 defaulters

Early this year, local power utility Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) embarked on an exercise to disconnect all commercial businesses which defaulted in payments.

As a result 1, 612 commercial customers were disconnected while P109 million was collected in arrears.

Speaking to Voice Money, BPC Communications and Marketing Manager, Dineo Seleke warned this was just the beginning.

“The Corporation will continue the debt collection exercise on accounts under arrears as part of the usual business mode. The collection campaign really assisted because the debtor days which were as high as 55 days reduced to 33 as of the end of May. That means on average the corporation is owed just above a month’s possible collections,” she explained.

Seleke said various economical factors, compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, have affected small and medium businesses making it tougher for them to meet their obligation with BPC.

“Almost all households are on prepaid save for those using maximum demand capacity. The bulk of arrears relate to accumulated balances prior to conversion to prepaid. Government debtors average two months and they revolve while the mines have been paying very well within a month of invoicing, “she continued

Meanwhile, remedial works continue at Morupule B Power Station to address equipment and construction defects from the original project completed in 2014.

The project scope include replacement of unreliable and defective major boiler components.

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Remedial works for unit 1 began in June 2019 and were successfully commissioned and tested this June.

The unit is currently undergoing a 90-day trial run and is expected to be handed back to BPC in October.

Unit 2 will then undergo a year’s worth of repairs and are forecast to be finished next October.

Repairs will begin on the third and fourth units in November 2023 and February 2024, with the work expected to be complete by October 2024 and January2025 respectively.

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