ZESA Seeks 100% Tariff Increase

Source: ZESA Seeks 100% Tariff Increase

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) is pushing for a 100% tariff increase for it to be able to supply adequate power and ensure sustainability.

ZESA is charging an average of US$0.063 per kilowatt-hour but wants the tariff to be hiked to US$0.1236 per kilowatt-hour.

Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) commercial director, Ralph Katsande said that a tariff review will go a long way in ensuring that the power utility generates sufficient revenue to fund operations and maintenance of its infrastructure. Said Katsande:

The current tariff level averaging of 6.3 US cents per unit is subeconomic. ZESA requires a cost-reflective tariff equivalent of 12.36 US cents per unit to efficiently provide service.

Katsande made the remarks during a stakeholder engagement meeting in Tengwe, Mashonaland West Province.

He said the tariff had fallen to a paltry US$0.032 per unit in August 2020 before it was adjusted in September that year.

Due to low tariffs, ZESA has a huge backlog of distribution network maintenance as it lacks the funds for the rehabilitation of infrastructure. Said Katsande:

For example, the Northern region alone requires to change 16 000 rotten poles on its 23 655 kilometres distribution network at a cost of US$ 2.1m or ZWL$181m.

Katsande further revealed that the ZESA distribution network is currently experiencing over 106 000 faults per year and about US$16 million is required to replace over 2 000 vandalised and faulty transformers.

Meanwhile, Chinhoyi Residents Association Chairperson Tapiwanashe Chikondowa suggested that ZESA technicians are involved in the theft of ZESA cables and transformers. He said:

How can thieves know that they will be no ZESA in a particular area? Look at the rate they have gone in Chinhoyi, ZESA should investigate this internally. This is an inside job.

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