Yeukai Karengezeka Herald Correspondent
The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) has issued a statement refuting social media claims that the company intends to increase tariffs beginning today.
Social media is awash with reports that the company will increase tariffs by 150 percent.
“The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) would like to advise its valued customers that it is not increasing electricity tariffs by 150 percent starting Friday 15 March, 2019 as is being reported on social media.”
The power company said the false report has prompted clients to panic buy thereby causing inconveniences.
“ZETDC would like to express its concern over the malicious social media messages that are urging consumers to buy electricity in bulk in order to beat a purported 150 percent increase in the price of power.
“The power utility urges consumers to disregard the misleading social media messages that are creating unnecessary panic buying and inconvenience to customers,” said the statement.
The statement also stated that due process is followed when they decide to introduce new prices.
“Tariff increase is a process that is not haphazardly implemented, but is done through a thorough consultative process in consultation with consumers, the regulator and shareholder, among other key stakeholders.”
Currently, the company is charging $0,0986 per kilowatt per hour (kWh) which was effected in 2011.
Mid-February, the power company sought a tariff increase of 52 percent which is $0,15kWh from the regulator Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA), to help in the maintenance of the electricity infrastructure and the importation of electricity to cover for low local generation.
ZERA says they are still evaluating the application as it takes them 45 days to evaluate for a tariff review.
Other countries in the region like South Africa increase tariffs every year. Last year, it increased its tariff by 25 percent and it now charges 8,6cents (kWh).
In Zambia, a kilowatt per hour costs six cents, Malawi; nine cents, Mozambique; 12 cents and Swaziland 10,3 cents.