Namibia: Windhoekers Can Now Buy Electricity by Cellphone

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Speaking at the launch of the new purchasing method for pre-paid electricity in Windhoek on Tuesday, the deputy mayor of Windhoek, Gerson Kamatuka, said the municipality will not repeat the mistake it made in July 2011 when pre-paid electricity consumers were thrown into disarray after the sale of electricity through third parties was abruptly stopped.

The municipality at the time cancelled the eight-year-old contract it had with Namibia Electronic Payment Terminals, which sold electricity on its behalf through vending machines, service stations, convenience stores and supermarkets.

Shortly afterwards, the City of Windhoek went into a temporary arrangement with MobiPay to provide pre-paid electricity to its customers. Windhoek consumers this week received yet another method of buying electricity from the comfort of their homes.

First National Bank (FNB) of Namibia clients can now purchase pre-paid electricity from the City of Windhoek by using cellphone banking. FNB manager for cellphone banking Desery van Wyk said the service will be available to all FNB clients with FNB transactional accounts. However, these clients should be registered for cellphone banking.

The service is currently free of any bank charges and only cellphone network fees apply, which at this stage are N$1 for MTC customers and 25 cents for Leo customers.Van Wyk stressed that this service is currently available for Windhoek residents only, but plans are underway to expand this offering to other parts of Namibia as well.