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INTERVIEW: Katutura Residents Rally Against Electricity Price Hikes, Prepare for Demonstration and Legal Action

todayJuly 3, 2024 6

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In a proactive response to proposed electricity price hikes by the Electricity Control Board (ECB), residents of Katutura have launched a concerted effort to voice their discontent and seek redress. Spearheaded by Shaun Gariseb, a prominent member of the Katutura Residents Committee, the community has initiated an online petition that has rapidly gained momentum, nearing 10,000 signatures.

Gariseb, speaking passionately about the community’s concerns, emphasized the urgency of their actions. “The online petition is going very well,” he stated, “and we are fast approaching 10,000 signatures.” He noted that despite their efforts, the Minister has yet to respond to their request for a review submitted earlier this week.

In preparation for escalating their protest, he outlined their next steps. “We’re going to give the minister until the end of the week,” he declared, “but on Saturday, the demonstration is going to take place, and we will be at the forefront of that demonstration.” This planned demonstration is set to occur at Zoo Park, starting at 9 o’clock in the morning.

Looking beyond the demonstration, Gariseb highlighted their strategy moving forward. “Immediately the following week,” he asserted, “we are also going to seek an urgent court interdict to stop the ECB from going ahead with this electricity hike.” This legal maneuver underscores the seriousness with which the community regards the proposed price increases.

The core grievance revolves around what the activist described as the “inconsiderate approval of electricity increases by ECB and these local authorities.” He emphasized the adverse impact of such hikes on residents, particularly amidst the country’s drought situation and economic challenges.

“We hope that those who are listening to us can join us on Saturday at Zoo Park,” he urged, calling for broader community support. “We will demand that the CEO and the minister attend when we deliver our further demands to the ECB leadership,” he added, underscoring their determination to secure meaningful dialogue and action.

Gariseb concluded with a firm commitment to pursue legal avenues if necessary. “If they do not give us any undertaking,” he warned, “we are going to approach the courts the following week. That is how serious we are with our discontent.”

The unfolding mobilization in Katutura reflects not only local concerns over affordability and fairness in utility pricing but also a growing trend of community activism in addressing socio-economic issues affecting Namibians.

For updates on this developing story and more on community initiatives, stay tuned to our website.

Written by: Leonard Witbeen

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