via Zesa to switch off defaulting customers – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 3, 2015
THE Zimbabwe Electricity and Distribution Company (ZETDC) has threatened to switch off over defaulting customers on the post-paid meter system starting this week accusing them of neglecting to pay their electricity bills.
BY VICTORIA MTOMBA
The outsanding bills have ballooned to $1 billion, the Zesa subsidiary has said.
ZETDC managing director Julian Chinembiri told NewsDay yesterday that the debt had stalled most of the power utility’s expansion projects.
“People are defaulting on the payment plans that they made. We have automated the payment plan platform. The moment one defaults on the payment plan they will be switched off. The disconnections will begin this week,” Chinembiri said.
He said when the company introduced payment plans for its customers there was a slight improvement in payments but after a while customers started to default again.
The power utility has close to 500 000 of its customers on prepaid meters and about 100 000 still on post-paid meter system.
“We have sent specifications for some more prepaid meters and we are waiting for the State Procurement Board so that we go to tender,” he said.
Chinembiri said the $1 billion debt owed by various customers that include commercial and domestic consumers had made it difficult for the utility to service its financial obligations and also to access fresh capital from financial institutions.
The debt has also reportedly stalled expansion projects at Kariba and Hwange Power Station, which are meant to boost power generation and reduce load shedding.
Zimbabwe produces 1 256 megawatts (MW) of electricity against a local demand of 1 950MW.