‘Tariff increase to ease load-shedding’
Bianca Leboho Herald Reporter
ZESA Holdings lost copper cables worth over $12 million last year but the utility is switching to aluminium which has a lower street value. Speaking at a Zim-Asset stakeholders meeting held in Harare recently, Zesa spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira said vandalism was costing Zesa heavily. “We are now changing from copper to aluminium due to the large number of thefts and vandalism of copper wire lines as a result of the high street value associated with it. Last year alone we lost $12 million due to vandalised and stolen copper lines. Vandalism and theft are the biggest contributors to the revenue loss we experience”, he said.
Mr Gwasira said load-shedding would soon be a thing of the past if Zesa was allowed to increase tariffs. “Currently, we have tried to ensure that load-shedding becomes a historic subject in Zimbabwe. As it is from January up to now the country has not experienced load- shedding except in areas affected by faults.
“We have been importing power from Mozambique and Eskom at prices of 15,5 cents and 13 cents respectively and this has contributed to the current good power position the country is experiencing.
“However, for us to completely do away with load-shedding there is need for the tariff increase that we applied for to be approved. That is the only way we can guarantee total eradication of load-shedding.”
Mr Gwasira said Zesa was doing everything within its capacity to address the problem of faults.
“Faults have been a constant challenge in Zimbabwe. We currently have a backlog of 3 000 transformers in the country because of financial problems.
“We are, however, trying to solve this. We have acquired 500 fault trucks meant to aid the fault initiative,” he said. Mr Gwasira appealed to the public to report cases of illegal electricity connections saying such activities posed a risk to energy users.