Zimbabwe: Zesa Pushes for Tariffs Increase

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Consumers should brace for yet another hike in tariffs amid revelations that the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) is in the process of seeking regulatory authority to increase tariffs.

The current tariffs are pegged at 7,5 United States cents per kilowatt hour against the economic tariff of 10 US cents per kilowatt hour. The power utility says the current tariff has become sub-economic

Addington Mazambani, Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) CEO, told journalists on Friday that the power utility was pushing for a tariff hike.

"Zesa are in the process of making an application," Mazambani said.

"They have to go through their shareholder before they come to us.

"When they come we will do the consultations before making a decision."

Zimbabwe requires 1 500 megawatts (MW) of electricity per day, down from 2 000MW.

As of April 30, the country was producing 1 204MW,

Munyati was producing 11MW, Bulawayo 0MW, Harare 0MW, Kariba 831MW and Hwange 362MW.

The country has been importing power mainly from Eskom of South Africa) and HCB and EDM of Mozambique.

Zera chairman David Madzikanda said the current Zesa tariffs were not viable.

"Zesa is incapacitated at the rate of 7,5 US cents per kilowatt hour against the economic tariff of 10 US cents per kilowatt hour," Madzikanda said.

"Zesa does not have competent staff and does not have the capacity to pay and retain the calibre of staff they require.

"If you pay peanuts you get monkeys."

He said to stem inefficiencies, there would be acceleration of installation of prepaid and smart meters.

"Accelerating the process of prepaid and smart meters to curb inefficiencies even if it's a government department they will be automatically switched off," Madzikanda said.

"We were assured by the Finance secretary (George Guvamatanga) that he gives government arms money for electricity."

On independent power producers, the Zera chairman said they are reviewed quarterly with licences of some IPPs cancelled if they fail to meet requirements.

"Developers are asked to resubmit when they are ready. Each case is unique," he said.

"For instance, over the past year excuses for lack of implementation were based on Covid-19, but in short these IPPs get cancelled."

Small IPPS are now contributing 1,75% to local generation with hope that they will increase generation to the grid.

The country is in the process of rehabilitating Hwange Expansion Project for units 7 and 8 and upon completion in 2022, the project will increase power generation from the current 600MW to 1 200MW.

The power station has a capacity of 900MW, but is currently generating 600MW.

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