CABINET has granted the Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company (ZEDC) authority to increase tariffs by 95% for domestic consumers and 270% for business.
Cabinet approval followe
d the Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Commission (ZERC)’s submission to government on the need to raise tariffs.
ZERC represents the interests of consumers and must approve any tariff increments by ZEDC before submitting them to cabinet.
The commissioner-general of ZERC, Mavis Chidzonga, said the percentage increase took into account rising generation, transmission and distribution costs involved in the supply of electricity.
The commission also considered the cost of importing an average 35% of Zimbabwe’s electricity requirements from regional utilities. Importing electricity is inevitable, as local generation capacity is insufficient to cover maximum national demand of around 2 000 megawatts.
“It is expected that the impact on production costs of the increases will be: bread (0,54%), flour (8,2%), and maize meal (0,351%),” Chidzonga said.
President of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries Callisto Jokonya said this was a positive move for Zesa Holdings as it was going to fund its operations.
“I am excited as Zesa is not going to be a beggar anymore,” said Jokonya. “The government by weaning off parastatals is empowering them to make independent decisions,” Jokonya said.
The commission urged consumers to conserve electricity to reduce costs.