Enacy Mapakame Business Reporter
ZESA Holdings is set to mobilise essential resources for energy supply after Government okayed an increase to a competitive tariff regime.
This will be implemented through a differentiated scale, as announced by Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube in his 2019 Mid-Year Budget Review Statement and Supplementary Budget yesterday.
“In the short term, power supply deficit can only be met through power imports and hence it is urgent that Government capacitates ZESA to mobilise requisite resources through appropriate and cost recovery tariffs implemented through a differentiated scale.
“Therefore, Government has approved the following electricity tariff measures for immediate implementation: The electricity tariff for non-exporting businesses be increased from an average of ZWL9,86c/kWh to an average of ZWL45c/kWh (approximately USc5/kWh).
“The electricity tariff for domestic consumers be increased from an average of ZWL9,86c/kWh to an average of ZWL27c/kWh (approximately USc3/kWh), which is subsidised,” Minister Ncube said.
“The electricity tariff for agriculture consumers will be increased from an average of ZWL9,86c/kWh to an average of ZWL27c/kWh (approximately USc3/kWh), which is subsidised; maintain the tariff for ferrochrome smelters and other miners at US$0,067/kWh and US$0,0986/kWh, respectively, and ensure that the resources are ring-fenced in a special account solely for purposes of importing electricity and ZESA be allowed to bill all other exporters and foreign currency earners in foreign currency and ensure that the resources are ring-fenced in a Special Account solely for purposes of importing electricity.
“The responsible ministry and the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA), will give the necessary implementation details.”
This comes as the country’s electricity has been dire, crippling industry operations as well as causing strain to the domestic market that has to bear hours of load-shedding.
ZESA had last reviewed tariffs in 2013, which have since been eroded by the challenging economic environment characterised by foreign currency shortages as well as inflationary pressures.
In a statement earlier, Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) indicated a tariff increase would enable it to raise the required working capital.