THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC)’s southern region is now owed over $200 million by domestic and commercial consumers, NewsDay has learnt.
BY own correspondent
ZETDC southern region general manager King Dube yesterday said industrial and commercial consumers in the region owed the power utility $198,6 million as at February 28 this year up from $134,4 million recorded last November. He cited Sable Chemicals as one of the biggest debtors but declined to disclose the amount the fertiliser manufacturer owed.
Domestic consumers’ arrears also increased marginally to
$11 million up from $10,99 million over the same period.
ZETDC southern region covers Midlands, parts of Matabeleland North and Mashonaland East provinces.
Dube said the power utility had been finding it difficult to recover the owed money despite a raft of measures to whip its debtors into line.
The introduction of prepaid meters two years ago saw the power utility deducting 25% of the amount purchased by debtors towards the servicing of the debt, adding that the process might take 10 to 15 years to recover all the money owed by domestic consumers. He said installation of prepaid meters in the region was almost 96% complete.
“The debt for domestic consumers will continue to increase until all the consumers in this category have migrated to the prepaid meters. We still have about 1 500 households in Gweru alone which were on load limiters which still need to have prepaid meters installed,” he said.
“As for those on prepaid meters, we have people who pay an average of $20 and if you calculate 25% of that you will get $5 which will go towards servicing a bill of say $2 000. It is insignificant hence according to our auditors it would take 10 to 15 years for the bills to be serviced.”