Manufacturers have called on ZESA to increase electricity tariffs as they are now too low to be sustainable.
Industry bosses are concerned that if the current tariffs are maintained, sooner rather than later, there will be no electricity and water.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president Mr Sifelani Jabangwe, in an interview with The Herald, said that industry’s only worry is that the tariff increase could be too high. Said Jabangwe:
I think the tariff probably now needs to review because even if you look at it against the interbank rate, the tariff has now come down from the average tariff of US$0.0986 to just over US$0.03.
We have always said we want it to be around US$0.05 or US$0.06 but it is now way below that. So, clearly a review of the tariff is necessary otherwise we won’t have electricity, we won’t have water. What we are just worried about is that the review should not make us uncompetitive.
The CZI boss’s sentiments were supported by Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) president Divine Ndhlukula who opined that electricity is now cheaper. She said:
When you convert the kind of money we are paying in RTGS$ compared to what we were paying in US dollars, Zesa is now cheaper. The kind of level (new tariff), I would lie but there is a need to review the power tariff. It’s unfortunate that it would push up inflation.
So it’s a catch-22 but three need to review the power tariff. The new tariff, if it was to come, should take into consideration affordability for some people and of course some cost recovery for Zesa to be able to import power.