THE Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) last Friday raised electricity tariffs by 18,9% citing increases in postal charges. The power utility has also promis
ed that more increases are coming anytime subject to cabinet approval.
Obert Nyatanga, Zesa’s general manager for corporate affairs, said the parastatal had been forced to revise the rates from $37/KWh to $44/KWh because of the increase in postal services from Zimpost.
“That increase has been caused by the hike in postage fees by Zimpost. We do not absorb the postage fees,” Nyatanga said.
“We will be implementing our own hikes, but we are still waiting for cabinet approval. The proposal for the gradual increase is with effect from September 1.
Zimpost increased its postal fees from $2 300 to $4 600 for an ordinary letter with effect from October 1.
The last time Zesa hiked tariffs was in February, when electricity users were slapped with a 400% increase.
The power utility was later forced to grant a temporary tariff relief of between 29-45% after an outcry from consumers and industry.
The tariff relief was applicable from the March consumption.
The increase by Zesa follows massive tariff hikes by another government-controlled entity, Net*One, which raised its rates by 385%. Industry has said the hikes would raise the cost of production, which would be passed on to the consumer.
Nyatanga said once Zesa obtained cabinet approval, it would implement tariff adjustments in line with an independent evaluation which was done by consultancy company, Sad-elec of South Africa.
“Once we have obtained the approval we will have the new rates effected,” he said.
Following the outcry on the tariff increments earlier in the year Zesa appointed Johannesburg-based energy consultancy firm, Sad-elec to conduct an energy pricing study.
In its pricing report submitted to government and Zesa in August, Sad-elec recommended that for Zesa to operate effectively its tariffs had to be revised upwards.