11 April 2014

Zambia: 'Exempt Hospitals From Pre-Paid Meters'

COPPERBELT Minister Mwenya Musenge has appealed to Zesco to consider exempting health institutions from its prepaid meters installation project.

Mr Mwenya Musenge said in as much as Zesco was supplying power to the public, it needed to revisit the issue of pre-paid meters in health institutions.

Mr Musenge said this yesterday during the official commissioning of a 66/11 kilovolt sub-substation and handover of the rehabilitated Luangwa Clinic in Kitwe.

Mr Musenge said Government was committed to ensuring that the majority of the population gained access to electricity and energy country wide.

He said statistics indicated that access to electricity in Zambia was 25 per cent with the rural area having less than three per cent.

"The statistics on our national grid indicates that, access to electricity in Zambia is about 25 per cent with the rural areas having access to less than three per cent. This is certainly a challenge to the attainment of the vision 2030, as electricity is a basic necessity that needs to be enjoyed by all," Mr Musenge said.

Mr Musenge said Government was committed to support investments that would drive increased access to electricity.

He said the incentives Government had provided including duty wavers were expected to translate into lowering the cost of transformers and ultimately the cost of connecting new customers hence, Government expected significant increase in access to power and reduction of load shedding across the country.

"I therefore, expect reliable and good quality electricity supply to the customers and I believe this will enable Zesco to have much improved operational efficiency and lower technical losses. Considering that the country had been experiencing power shortages due to the increased economic activities over the recent years," Mr Musenge said.

And Zesco acting director for distribution Christopher Phiri said the upgrading of the substation would facilitate increased electrification of housing units, public facilities, schools and health centers in Luangwa, Chamboli, Wusakile, Mulenga, Ndeke, ZAMTAN, Kamfinsa Townships.

Consolidated Power Projects chief executive officer David Van Zyl said the project would increase electricity supply to areas that had less supply.

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