Why you will continue to pay higher electricity bill
You will have to continue shouldering higher electricity bills for both households and businesses unless the government invests in the energy sector, an official has warned.
Engineer Beck Awan Deng said the South Sudan Electricity Corporation (SSEC) is facing challenges in discharging its mandate, a situation that has partly contributed to high electricity tariff rates.
South Sudan’s power tariff is the most expensive country in the world.
“All the government-owned power stations are facing the same challenge. We are urging the government to do more with the upkeep of the utilities and if that is not done, all efforts will be wasted. They will all collapse and follow the fate of Juba Power Station,” he said.
Eng. Awan who lamented the status of the energy sector in the country, said that financial constraints and poor staffing have greatly affected the corporation.
He warned that any government failure for immediate action would result in the depletion of public power sectors in the country.
“We are now trying our best to do what we can to meet our obligations. “However, we are facing a number of challenges that are making it very hard to deliver the services that [citizens] expect from us,” said Eng. Awan.
“Juba power is in sorrowful stages due to a lack of funds among other things. The engines are outdated and will have to be disposed of shortly as the only logical thing to be done,’’ Eng. Awan said, “The national resources that were used to purchase these machines and installed them will have gone to waste”.
South Sudan Electrical Corporation (SSEC) was established in 2012 to develop, own, and manage electricity power, and to generate, transmit, and distribute power all over South Sudan.
Currently, EZRA Power – a privately owned power plant – is the only electricity supplier to the country’s capital city, Juba, which covers only about half of the town and its outskirts.
There are plans to upgrade the African Development Bank-funded EZRA Power plant to ensure virtual coverage.
Eng. Awan was speaking on Thursday during the grand launch of the South Sudan Chamber of Energy and Minerals – an organisation to advocate for the improvement of energy sectors in South Sudan.
He further said lack of human resources had just added more layers to the challenges the SSEC was facing.
“We have difficulties in recruiting and retaining. Well-trained, qualified engineers have left for greener pastures in other sectors because they see no future in the electricity industry.
‘‘South Sudan should learn a lesson from neighbouring countries where power stations are given maximum support. When you do that the utilities and operations.”
“We call on the government to develop legal, regulatory, and national policy (because) it is important if we want to attract foreign investors. There are many investors willing to invest in energy the sector but what is holding them back is the lack of legislation that will protect them,” Eng. Awan stressed.