4 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Zesa Restructures Tariffs as Energy Concerns Remain High

National power authority ZESA has restructured its tariffs, as concern about the country's energy problems remains high.

ZESA subsidiary, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), has reduced electricity tariffs for prepaid users and businesses. The company announced on Monday that the new tariffs would come into effect this week.

The new tariff structures will now see prepaid users getting their first 50 kilowatts per hour for "free" while business will enjoy a 20% reduction for the first 50 units used, which would be charged at $0,02 per unit instead of the normal $0,09.

Regular power users meanwhile are facing a 0.3% increase on their tariffs.

The tariff changes come just days after the Harare Power Station was shut down on Sunday because of low coal stocks. Other power stations like Hwange Thermal, Munyati, Bulawayo and Kariba Hydro, are all currently operating below capacity due to ongoing maintenance and modernisation works.

Precious Shumba from the Harare Residents' Trust told SW Radio Africa on Friday that ZESA's top priority in 2013 should be the provision of a better service for its consumers. He said that energy problems are now widely expected among the public, but people had hope ZESA would start communicating properly to warn people what to expect.

"The expectation now from the public is for ZESA to deal with issues of corruption and accurate billing. And to stop cutting off supplies to people who have inaccurate estimated bills. Basically, we are expecting a better service and better communication from the power authority," Shumba said.

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