The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe has demanded to see the salary schedule for top management at zesa Holdings in the wake of the parastatal’s proposal for an upward review of 5 percent in electricity tariffs against what they termed poor service delivery. Speaking at a stakeholder consultative meeting hosted by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority in Harare yesterday, CCZ national chairman Mr Phillip Bvumbe said the consumer protection body would only embrace a tariff increase after they are convinced management was not abusing the parastatal’s funds.
“As a consumer group we feel zesa is a public institution and that the salary schedule of top management be availed to us because since the 2006 tariff review paper that was presented to stakeholders by ZETDC on the pricing of electricity they have not been any notable changes in costing to date.”
“It is against this background that we feel the proposed hike might not be justified hence our demand to see their salary structure,” he said.
However, a ZETDC official argued that although they have proposed a 5 percent upward review since it is inflation related, this year the cost reflective tariff requires a 16 percent increase since a cost of supply study indicates an average tariff of US14,2 cents per kilowatt hour.
“Over the past 5 years we have had only one significant tariff increase while average expenditure has been higher than the average tariff awarded. Tariffs awarded are therefore not sufficient to sustain the minimum activities of the utility,” he said.
A tariff of US9, 83c per kilowatt hour was awarded in 2009, but was reversed and replaced by a US7,53c/kWh in February 2009. There was no tariff hike in 2010 while a US9, 83c/kWh raise was approved for 2011.
Zera chief executive, Eng Gloria Magombo said consultations were ongoing to consider the ZETDC 5 percent tariff hike proposal.