Power tariffs to be reviewed monthly: ZESA

Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) holdings acting group chief executive officer, Engineer Patrick Chivaura says electricity tariffs will be now reviewed monthly at inter-bank market rates as a means to guarantee the availability of electricity in the country.

Engineer Chivaura said while addressing the 2019 Water, Energy, Climate, Industry (WASHEN) conference on Thursday, adding that the monthly review comes into effect this month.

“It is better for us to have high tariffs than to have no power, those sentiments have reached our ears and those of the government. We have only two years of timeline when our situation will re-correct itself for internal generation,” said Eng. Chivaura.

“Ordinarily the cabinet of Zimbabwe made a very bold review of tariffs which has never happened before, we were cost-reflective tariffs where we can now prepare real work being the maintenance of ZETDC lines and maintenance of equipment of power stations that we have not been able to do.”

“ZESA is the biggest company in the country there is no way such a company with the tariffs that we have had in the country particularly this year can perform, it was just digging a hole which ZESA is now sinking in,” he said.

Presenting his 2019 Mid-Term Monetary Policy Review statement in July, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube increased electricity tariffs for domestic consumers from an average of ZWL$9.66c/kWh to an average of ZWL27c/kWh (US3c/kW).

Just like in the fuel sector where fuel prices have been going up on a weekly basis in tandem with the changes in the money market, Engineer Chivaura said the power utility will be going that route.

“We have been given the go-ahead to start charging own tariffs as from the first of October, we are expected to see a change in the provision of the electricity services.

“We are glad that for the first time an indexation formula tracks the changes in foreign currency, the changes in other priorities were also approved by Government, so we are able to review it on a monthly basis.

“We will be able to adjust our tariffs accordingly to these elements if the float on foreign currency exchange goes up, our tariffs will go up, if the exchange goes down, the tariffs will also go down,” he said.

He added that there is a need for other players to play their role when it comes to providing power services.

 “ZESA is not the only one responsible for the provisions of tariffs, we are all to play our part, industry, mines we would like to see you playing your part.

“I would also like to dis-spell the myth that ZESA does not support renewable sources, we support renewables, to us renewables are complementary to the work that we are doing, ZESA at the moment is doing large scale projects.

“Projects of renewable sources are at the moment so small but we want them, I am sure if more concentration goes towards them, in years to come they will have an impact in contributing towards power,” Eng. Chivaura said.

“We are targeting a middle-income economy society by 2030, it will require something like 11 500MW to be established in Zimbabwe, that can not be done by ZESA alone.

“ZESA can probably do its best by providing about 5000 to 6 000MW so it means there is room for other players,” he added.

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