Newly appointed Energy Minister, Selibe Mochoboroane, says Lesotho needs to produce its own electricity and stop relying on imports from South Africa and Mozambique.
Addressing Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) employees in Maseru for the first time since his inauguration as Minister of Energy last month, Mr Mochoboroane said it was important for the kingdom to be self-reliant as far as electricity was concerned in case both South Africa and Mozambique decided to stop exporting the commodity.
“If we continue to generate electricity at Muela Hydropower Station in Butha-Buthe only, and more people are applying for connections—and we rely on imports from South Africa and Mozambique for the bulk of the supply—then we might find ourselves in trouble one day,” Mr Mochoboroane said.
“There will come a time when the electricity we get from ‘Muela, South Africa and Mozambique would not be enough because of increase in demand. Again, if South Africa and Mozambique decide to stop supplying us with electricity, we will be in trouble.
“Our mandate, as a ministry, is to make sure that we generate enough electricity to meet the country’s demand. I have two policy documents on energy and electricity, which will guide us in this vision.
“Obviously, we are facing a huge responsibility especially when it comes to producing power. It’s true our people need to be connected to electricity, but we should prioritise producing enough of the product that will meet our needs.”
The minister also expressed concern over illegal electricity connections and inconsistent charges for consumers.
“Since we are living in a world of technology, is it not possible that we can use some sort of device to notify us whenever such illegal connections take place?
“Whenever there is a problem with our connections or our cables are vandalised, we need to be notified through that system without waiting for clients to do so.”
Mr Mochoboroane, who emphasised the need to ensure the country became self-reliant on electricity, added he would also address the workers’ concerns regarding their organisational structure and salaries.
However, the minister urged the staff to manage the company’s resources more effectively, especially vehicles, to reduce costs.
He added: “I promise to look into your grievances because I believe in working with happy employees. I am a man of my word and you can confirm this with those I have worked with before in other ministries.”