‘Theft, vandalism peg Zesa back’

Felex Share Senior Reporter
ZESA has lost more than $500 000 since January to theft and vandalism as measures to curb the problem continue to elude the power utility. Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company managing director Engineer Julian Chinembiri told journalists on Thursday that the power utility had recorded 108 cases of vandalism since the beginning of the year.

This comes as Eng Chinembiri said a determination on the power tariff increase from the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority was expected in a fortnight. Theft and vandalism are really drawing us back,” he said.

“We still have people vandalising our lines, stealing copper while some are going for transformers where they are taking transformer oil. We urge all responsible citizens of Zimbabwe to assist us to curb this problem of vandalism and we are also working with the police to ensure that we also do patrols and mitigate vandalism.”

At this rate, Zesa could lose more than $2 million by the end of the year if the situation continues unabated. On the proposed power tariff hike, Eng Chinembiri said: “We did the consultations with various stakeholders and now we are waiting for the award of the tariff from ZERA. They promised that in the next two weeks they will make the determination.”

ZETDC and the Zimbabwe Power Company applied to have the power tariff pegged at about 14c per kilowatt per hour from the current 9,86c/kWh.

The average electricity cost in the Southern African region is 14c/kWh. Zesa expects that the increase would assist in the financing of the urgently required power generating projects being carried out countrywide.

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