ZESA Holdings has threatened to disconnect unpaid consumers, who were not utilising the payment plan facility to clear their arrears, as the debt-saddled entity struggles to provide adequate services to clients.
By Linda Chinobva
Zesa came up with the payment plan in a bid to recover more than $260 million owed by residents from Matabeleland North, South and Bulawayo provinces.
Addressing a stakeholders’ meeting hosted by Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association (BPRA) in Bulawayo, Zesa western region commercial manager, Newton Mutizakurima, said residents were supposed to own up and pay their dues.
“As of the 1st of April, Zesa will start disconnecting its subscribers who have not done anything with their credits. People should make use of payment plans so that their load of paying off the debts is addressed,” he said
“As it stands, Zesa subscribers from Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South and Bulawayo owe us about $260 million. That is a lot of money that can actually go a long way in providing services to our subscribers.
“We understand that the economy is not very friendly, but we still need electricity, as a result residents should own up to the debts and try by all means to clear them so that we are able to adequately meet the demands of the public”
He said Zesa has, from last week, been flighting adverts, encouraging residents to clear their debts.
“If you have noticed, we have been flighting adverts in our local media reminding our valued customers to attend to their credits in order for the company to survive and give services,” he said.
However, residents said they expected the power utility provider to be lenient with them, in light of the country’s current economic problems.
“We do not expect Zesa to descend heavily on us because they also know the current situation bedevilling the country,” said Silethokuhle Ndlovu, a resident.
“It is not a secret that people are struggling to make ends meet and we expect service providers like Zesa, to be lenient with us because they are also operating in the same environment as us.”
Gideon Mlalazi said it was ideal for Zesa to have a payment plan facility, although there is need for the service provider to be realistic.
“As a Zesa subscriber, I am grateful that they have payment plans for us, but what we cannot accept is the fact that Zesa has a tendency of just cutting electricity supply without notice,” he said.
“On that score they fail us. We are not enemies; instead we should understand each other.”