The private sector said that it is prepared to pay a higher tariff for electricity to guarantee its availability in the country.
Players in the sector declared that they are ready to pay the equivalent of US$0,14 per kilowatt-hour, up from the current US$0,01.
This was revealed by the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) chairperson, Mike Kamungeremu, at a breakfast meeting held in Harare on Monday. He said:
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Industry is okay with tariff increase even US$0,14 per kilowatt-hour. We need it because we need a constant supply of power. Our expectation is if the tariffs go up we have guaranteed a supply of power.
We have come to this position because what we cannot afford is to continue operating on generators, we need electricity, it remains the cheapest form of power, so what I can tell is that even if the tariff is increased it will still be way cheaper than operating on generators.
Kamurengu said that it was not sustainable to continue running big plants using generators. He added:
We cannot continue operating on generators as indicated. If you run your business using your generators, you will be using US$0,30-US$0,40 per kilowatt-hour.
There are some businesses right now which run very big plants, they cannot use generators or solar — for those they need power and for that to happen the tariff must go up.
At the moment electricity is costing $0,0968 per kilowatt-hour which translates to about a cent in US dollar terms, yet the same power is being imported at US$0,04, the cheapest, and up to US$0,12 per kilowatt-hour and as a business we know ZESA cannot sustain such.