HARARE residents yesterday threatened to resist the proposed increase in electricity tariffs arguing the proposed charges would make electricity unaffordable to the majority of citizens.
by VENERANDA LANGA
Harare Metropolitan Residents Forum (HAMREF) spokesperson Marvellous Khumalo told NewsDay that residents had already been consulted by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) on the proposed 49% tariff hikes.
The energy regulatory authority has announced plans to hike the tariffs from the current average of $0, 9 cents per kilowatt to about $0, 14 cents per kilowatt as part of efforts to enable power utility,Zesa, to raise more revenue for power generation.
“It will be very difficult for citizens to fork out such huge amounts, and on Tuesday we met with ZERA where they informed us of their proposal to increase electricity tariffs by 49% on the premise that Zimbabwe’s current tariffs are far much lower than those of neighbouring countries,” he said.
Khumalo said HAMREF will meet to take a position on what action the residents will take.
Harare Residents Trust (HRT) said residents should speak with one voice and reject the increases to force service providers to go back to the drawing board to reduce the percentage hike.
“A 49% hike is unrealistic, and it means every commodity which the resident uses will rise in prices as electricity is one of the major contributors in the manufacturing process. As of date a basic domestic user at average uses 450 kilowatts per month, and is paying around $44 for electricity. If the tariff increases by 49% a user will pay $77 which is unaffordable for residents,” HRT said.