The energy and power development minister, Samuel Undenge, has stated that his ministry intends to review the decision made by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA), when it refused to allow an increase in power tariffs.
While addressing Parliament, Undenge argued that the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) had a genuine case for such a proposed hike, the Herald reported.
It is reported that the minister was responding to a question from Mashonaland Senator Damien Mumvuri (Zanu-PF), who asked if there would be constant supply of electricity given that ZESA had been denied the right to raise power tariffs.
“The ZETDC made an application for tariffs to be increased. They applied to ZERA. After their tariff was considered, it was denied. Indeed, they had explained that they had a challenge in terms of the revenue that they collected and wanted it increased,” he stated.
Undenge added: “ZERA denied them, citing that other measures could be adopted. When we also considered it, we realised that the tariffs were low and it would be good for them [ZESA] to increase but those who are responsible for regulation said that when it comes to ease of doing business, it would be difficult for businesses as well as domestic consumers.”
Expensive power tariffs
Undenge continued: “Indeed, there is a point that it is better to have expensive power than not to have it at all.
“So, this is an issue that we are seized with and we want to balance the revenue that we get from ZESA and ensure that there is a constant supply of electricity because there is nothing for free. We are working on the issue with the respective parastatals.”
It is reported that the current power tariff stands at $9.86 cents per kWh. ZETDC had previously proposed that the tariff be increased to $14.6 cents per kWh, the hike is reported to had been granted by ZERA but reduced to $11.2 cents per kWh mid-last year.
The figure was later frozen after industry complained that the tariff was too high to sustain their operations.
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