Zesa urged to court investors

ZESA Holdings (Pvt) Ltd must court investors to shore up its operations and stimulate economic growth in the country, the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) has said.

In a position paper titled From Stability to Economic Growth – A ZNCC Proposition, the chamber said it was ironic that even though business was operating at 30 percent capacity, the power utility could not provide enough power to sustain the economy.
“The government of Zimbabwe is the largest investor in ZESA, a dysfunctional monopoly, with a crumbling infrastructure. Private investors have to be invited to this organisation, while policies to allow private power generators must be made investor friendly and implemented expeditiously,” said ZNCC.
ZNCC said laws must be put in place to enforce wholesale national use of energy savers, while all new buildings should be fitted with solar power water heaters.
ZNCC said Zimbabwean consumers were not committed to saving power, a situation which was worsening an already bad situation.
“Consumers must be compelled to use energy savers, pay market rates and fit solar powered water geysers. Banks must be encouraged to support citizens who want to invest in power generation to take advantage of liberalised policies,” said ZNCC.
“We do not even have capacity to import excess power from South African. There have always been expansion plans, but such plans were based on bilateral and multilateral support,” the chamber said.
ZNCC said Zesa has not been able to generate enough revenue due to subdued tariffs, bad governance, political interference and poor management,”
Zesa has made no investment in new power stations since Hwange Thermal’s second stage was commissioned in the early 1980’s.
The chamber also accused local companies of “unscrupulously pursuing supernormal profits” to finance unsustainable affluent lifestyles by their boards, neglecting business ethics and good corporate governance.
The business representative body also challenged government and civic society to “name and shame” poor-performing state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and proposed a strategy to inculcate a corporate governance culture in the public entities.
“There is overwhelming evidence that boards in the public and private sector have abandoned universally accepted business practices, sacrificing corporate ethics on the altar of reckless expediency.

 

Paul Nyakazeya

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