Cenored weathering Covid storm- Kahimunu

By Hilary Mare

CENTRAL North Regional Electricity Distributor (Cenored)’s acting chief executive officer, August Kahimunu has said that while revenue will definitely drop and costs remain almost the same owing to Covid-19, the electricity distributor will emerge victorious and weather the storm.

Speaking to Confidente this week, Kahimunu highlighted that the company is having a strategy in place to supply electricity at affordable prices with very limited interruptions.

“This is an ideal that we have decided to achieve.  Customer service is our key strategy that cannot be compromised. No one is certain as to how long the pandemic is going to last, what will you do if a number of your employees are affected, directly or indirectly, (will you be able the deliver the needed service to your customers) what about the ability of your customers to pay? As a CEO being a technical adviser to the board, I must be able to articulate these issues and make a strategy decision to mitigate the risks,” said Kahimunu.

Currently, Cenored is undertaking various projects that are meant to enhance service delivery. The extension of electricity lines with 125 km between Rooidak and Maroela in partnership with the Ministry of Mines and Energy and electrification of 400 houses and localities in the Gam settlement, are the projects that are currently underway. Upgrades of the incomer and distribution stations in some towns at a cost of N$158 million are envisaged for the near future.

“Our customers more specifically those in the tourism and hospitality sectors, are affected by the new world order. Some are unable to pay their bills, some are having special needs or unusual requests of which I as the CEO need to give guidance and solutions. Apart from this, future events of the organisation had to be reconsidered differently, as it is not business as usual. The budgetary provisions, projections and planning have changed completely from the normal.

“What is interesting is that despite all the new challenges, we are having a very committed team that is working toward achieving a common goal. The board of directors is very supportive,” he further explained.

Speaking on his journey so far as acting CEO, Kahimunu explained that the journey has been challenging but manageable.

“I took over just at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, where one needed to make a decision between keeping the business up and running to deliver the needed services and to save the lives of the employees and those of our customers. Despite all challenges of the Covid-19, normal business operations and more importantly delivering of service had to continue. All business decisions are taken alongside the effect of the pandemic on a short term as well as on the long term.

“My vision for Cenored is to see the company being relevant in the industry at all levels. It should be relevant in the sense that it should deliver on its mandate with excellent customer service. Secondly, it should have competitive electricity prices to stimulate the economy because the prices can make or break our consumers’ businesses. Therefore, our number one strategy is to look for cheaper sources of energy in order to lower the prices and in so doing, we stimulate economic growth,” concluded Kahimunu.