The Department of International Relations (Dirco) says the recent statement made by the Namibian Member of Parliament, Inna Hengari was in a bad taste. Hengari ridiculed South Africa for its current electricity challenges and rolling blackouts.
Namibia gets a portion of its power supply from South Africa even though the contract allows for Eskom to temporarily stop such supply when there are electricity challenges in South Africa.
“If this was a joke, I think it was in bad taste particularly coming from a Member of Parliament. The energy challenges in South Africa are being addressed and this will benefit not just the people of South Africa but I argue the entire SADC region if you consider the interconnected our economies are. So jokes aside, the work that we have is quite serious and I think we need to focus on that,” says Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson of the Department of International Relations.
This follows a tweet by Hengari to Nigeria artist Burnaboy, in which she wrote, ‘”Burna driving from the airport and wondering where everyone’s at😂😂😂Empty country this one😅. Welcome to Namibia🇳🇦 @burnaboy!!! Here, there’s no load-shedding HAVE massive electric FUN 🤩.”
Burna comes from 🇳🇬. He’s familiar with loadshedding. The energy challenges in 🇿🇦 are being addressed & 🇳🇦 will benefit. Your country’s economy is intrinsically linked to ours. 🇳🇦 dollar is pegged to the 🇿🇦 rand. I’m certain you are familiar with SACU & its benefits. Behave! https://t.co/YFUDaOWnov
— Clayson Monyela (@ClaysonMonyela) September 25, 2022
Why are you telling a woman MP of another country to “behave” on social media?
Who are you to repremand her in this way? Hon @Inna_Hengari can “behave” in whatever manner she chooses.
Respectfully, check yourself!
— Simamkele Dlakavu (@simamkeleD) September 25, 2022
Only 50% of your population has access to electricity. 91% in SA. SA has a population of 60 million and you have a population of 2.5 million.
— Khaya Dlanga (@khayadlanga) September 25, 2022
A Teaspoon of shame would go along way.
Only 56.3% of Namibia’s population (a population size less than 50% of Joburg) has access to electricity.
That’s almost where SA was in 1996.
Vs 84.6% access in SA (Total population: 60+ mill)
Anyway, I wasn’t aware SA & Nam had beef? pic.twitter.com/HsChEtnFlc
— Jean Claude Vaal dam (@AstroKay) September 26, 2022
Eskom’s Spokesperson, Sikonathi Mantshantsha says the power utility is providing small quantities of electricity to Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Mantshantsha says companies in countries such as Namibia and Botswana also source power from Eskom.
“Eskom also does sell electricity to some customers in Mozambique and close to the SA border and those would be smelters and all are foreign companies in good standing. We also sell electricity to individual companies in Namibia and Botswana and these are firm contracts and are up to date,” Mantshantsha added.
As the country continues to struggle with electricity supply, South Africans have questioned a decision by Eskom to supply electricity to neighbouring countries while it is struggling with load shedding.
South Africa recently experienced Stage 6 load shedding which has since been downgraded to Stage 3 this week.
Mantshantsha says the utility’s contract with countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, and Botswana to sell electricity, also gets affected during load shedding.
“There’s a non-firm contract. Non-firm means when Eskom is short of generation capacity at home and declares load shedding that part of the contract falls away and no electricity is sold to any of these countries. In both respects these the volumes of electricity sold are quite small less than 600 megawatts combined,” Mantshantsha said.
VIDEO: Eskom implements Stage 3 and Stage 4 rolling blackouts
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company has warned about power interruptions due to challenges experienced at the Kariba and Hwange Power Stations as well as import constraints.