Maputo — Mozambique's publicly owned electricity company, EDM, suffered losses of at least five million meticais (about 85,000 US dollars) from theft of energy in the western province of Tete in 2017.
The provincial director of mineral resources and energy, Gracio Cune, told reporters on Monday that the losses resulted from such acts as clandestine connections to the electricity grid, the theft of electricity meters, and the theft of cables.
The destruction of electricity pylons (usually in order to steal cables or metallic parts of the pylons) , Cune said, caused heavy losses both to EDM and to its clients, whose homes were plunged into darkness, or who receive poor quality energy after the thefts.
Cune said that last year “EDM recored 2,290 cases of theft of energy by fraud. We also found 801 clandestine connections to the grid. This damages the company, because the people involved do not pay for the electricity they consume”.
Fraud and illicit connections cost EDM in Tete over 3.1 million metcias. The theft of cables and accessories cost over 630,000 meticais. “That may seem a small amount”, said Cune, “but it's a lot when you consider the number of people who have suffered because of this”.
He put the cost of replacing pylons knocked down at about 575,000 meticais, while the theft of electricity meters cost EDM around 203,000 meticais,
“This is of great concern to the electricity sector”, said Cune, “because the money lost in repairing the damage could have been spent on expanding the grid to areas that it does not yet reach”.
He urged members of the public to collaborate in denouncing to the authorities people who steal EDM property, or make clandestine connections.