Zimbabwean utility, Zesa has abandoned its plans to introduce power recharge cards, as it found the deal to be unprofitable due to the high production costs thereof.

The recharge cards were intended to ease congestion found at prepaid power purchase points, with people registering and making payments for prepaid meter installations.

“The issue of introducing scratch cards to recharge electricity meters is not on the table at the moment,” said Zesa spokesperson, Mr Fullard Gwasira.

“This is in line with best practice in the industry as the trend is towards greater customer convenience on the SMS and Internet platform that is provided by scratch cards. Zesa also took note of the security concerns which were raised by our valued customers.”

“The major issue is that the cost of producing a scratch card is high locally to the extent that you end up using US$7 to produce a card with a denomination of US$5,” according to a source.

“That is why you see that mobile telecommunications have their cards done out of the country. Others have them done in South Africa while others import them from China where printing is cheaper. As for Zesa, they had opted to have it done at Fidelity Printers but simple calculations showed that the process would be expensive and the idea was eventually abandoned.”

Electricity tokens for consumers are currently being made available through state-linked companies, such as, NetOne, TelOne, CBZ, ZIMPOST and POSB, and OK supermarkets.

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