With the rural electrification budget having received a significant boost, the Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo, is calling on regional councils to use allocated funds prudently. 

"This year we were lucky to get a much larger budget for rural electrification. Last year, we had almost N$40 million for rural electrification. This year, we had about N$130 million. We received nearly three times the budget for rural electrification. When we get all the information we need to apportion that budget, I'm hoping that Kavango East Region will then also be able to get a much larger chunk from that budget."

The Kavango East Regional Council invited Alweendo to raise concerns about the slow distribution of electricity, especially to rural communities. 

The Minister of Mines and Energy, however, stated that it's also up to the Regional Councils to play their part in terms of identifying crucial areas for electrification. 

"Do you have a strategic plan for yourself as to how to address rural electrification based on the resources you have? Because if you also don't have that, it might be difficult for you to track the progress you are making. Have a rural electrification strategic plan for three to five years." 

Alweendo says the ball is in the Regional Council's court to ensure that the money for rural electrification is spent and not sent back to the treasury. 

"Now that we have this much money, are we really going to spend it and address the need, or are we going to have excuses for how we cannot make use of the money?" Don't disappoint, where at the end of the financial year, we would not have spent all the money. That's also one of the reasons why I brought my team, the Director of Energy, and his staff to also engage their colleagues to make sure that we are going to be more efficient than we might have been in the past."

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Frances Shaahama