Zesa Holdings Limited has lost 30% of its electricity sales units per kilowatt-hour in the past four years as a result of limited capacity generation that has forced the power utility to embark on widespread load shedding, an official has said.
The decline in power generation comes at a time when 11 new players have been licensed but are yet to commence operations.
In a presentation at the just-ended Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce annual congress held in Nyanga, Zesa CEO Josh Chifamba said sales per kilowatt-hour had declined from 11 billion units of to 8, 5 billion units of electricity.
“We have lost 2,5 billion units of electricity in sales because there is not enough capacity to meet demand,” he said.
He said the challenges being faced by the power utility include vandalism, huge amounts of money owed by customers and the lowest tariffs in the Southern African region.
The power company is owed $450 million by its customers countrywide while the company’s annual turnover is estimated at $600 million.
“Companies are the major debtors to the utility holding 52% of the amount owed while the government and domestic consumers owe 10% and 38% respectively,” said Chifamba.
Chifamba said the power company lost $1,6 million through vandalism in the month of April while it required to replace 80% of its power transformers and 50% of its substations.
He added that small thermal stations in Harare were now producing between 20 to 40-megawatts.
Meanwhile, Chifamba said despite 11 companies having been licensed by the Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Authority the licences were still idle as nothing had been done on the ground.
He called on the government to revise the tariff structure if it is to attract investors in the sector.
The chief executive officer said the country’s tariffs were the lowest in the region at 7,5c per kilowatt-hour.
“The tariffs here will not reward any investor, the price has to go up.”