Another Zesa tariff hike looms

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) has applied to the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) seeking another adjustment of electricity tariffs, saying the current charges have severely been eroded.

In his 2019 mid-year budget review statement and supplementary budget, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube said the electricity tariff for non-exporting businesses would be increased from an average of US9,86 cents/kWh to an average of US45c/kWh.

The electricity tariff for domestic consumers was increased from an average of US9,86c/kWh to an average of US27c/kWh, while for agriculture consumers, it was increased from an average of US9,86c/kWh to an average of US27c/kWh.

But in a statement yesterday, ZETDC’s holding company, Zesa Holdings, said the current tariffs were no longer sustainable.

“The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company has applied to the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority for the adjustment of the electricity tariff in terms of section 53 (2) of the Electricity Act (Chapter 13: 19) of 2002. The current tariff 38,61c/kWh has been severely eroded due to the movement of macroeconomic fundamentals,” the statement read in part.

“Therefore, viability and service delivery has been severely compromised. Local electricity production has been negatively impacted by the low water levels in Lake Kariba, which have restricted power production to a current average capacity of 190 megawatts (MW) at the Kariba Power Station against an installed capacity of 1 050MW,” it said.

Zesa said the electricity tariff applied for would enable ZETDC to raise the required working capital for the improvement of, among other things, local authority generation, procurement of critical spares for maintenance as well as electricity imports, to reduce load-shedding.

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