A report in the Herald states that the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Samuel Undenge, has stated that there is “no going back” on proposes of an electricity tariff increase as the power utility needs to finance ‘urgent power generating projects’ such as Dema Substation.
He went further to add that ZESA were justified in an increase as they were currently importing 300 MW from ESKOM of South Africa due to a host of reasons, but declining water levels at Kariba Dam (Zimbabwe’s cheapest source of electricity) have seen only 285 MW being generated instead of the usual 700 MW. Zimbabwe has a power requirement of 2200 MW and has been failing to reach this level for some time now and this has resulted in massive power cuts throughout the country.
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority is currently hosting stakeholder consultative meetings in both Harare and then Bulawayo after having received a request to increase the electricity tariff. In Harare, they are being hosted at Jameson Hotel on Samora Machel in the CBD, from 11 January to 15 January 2015 in case you need to attend. Dates and venue for Bulawayo will be advised.
The Minister’s remarks seem to make these meetings of no effect, with the regulator then appearing as a toothless bulldog. However, a previous request by ZESA in 2014 to increase tariffs was turned down by ZERA, so that gives a glimmer of is hope. But with a Government that has pulled out every trick in the bag in order to raise revenue, from increasing traffic fines, to reducing duty rebates, there’s very little hope that this won’t pull through as ZESA are already saddled with an almost $1 billion debt.
Along with the debt, it has been alleged that high ranking Government officials and Government departments are some of the culprits that are not paying their debts thus affecting the cashflow of the company and limiting what it can do.
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