By Sheryleen Masuku
The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company ZETDC plans to increase electricity tariffs inorder for the power utility to meet the increase in operating expenses, an official has said.
Speaking in Parliament last week, Energy and Power Development deputy Magna Mudyiwa said the company even was failing to procure vehicles required when attending to electric faults due to lack of funds.
“ZETDC is having serious transport challenges,” she said.
“All these are arising from the fact that they are going through serious financial problems.
“We are looking at reviewing the tariffs and if that review is granted, then ZETDC can have funds to purchase the much needed vehicles for their operations.”
Mudyiwa said ZETDC was owed a lot of money by its debtors mostly local authorities.
“In the past we have had challenges in collecting debts from our debtors,” she said.
“Those who will have used electricity already, most of them are failing to pay.
“So that is why ZETDC is having serious problems in acquiring new vehicles for operations.”
Mudyiwa defended plans to increase electricity tariffs despite criticism from some legislators.
“Firstly, our tariffs are very low and need to be reviewed,” she said.
“They were last reviewed I think last year and all the operational costs have gone up, for example fuel has gone up and even buying the foreign currency that is needed, ZETDC is failing to do that.”
ZETDC has been failing to attend to faults particularly in the rural areas due to lack of transport.
Binga South constituency legislator Joel Gabbuza, said he had received disturbing reports from teachers and villagers in Malaliya village about ZETDC failure to attend to electric faults which had resulted in serious accidents.
Gabbuza told SlyMedia News that a woman in Malayiya village sustained serious injuries when she accidentally came in contact with live cables which detached from a pole near the village Primary School.
He said efforts by villagers to get, ZETDC to fix the cables and restore electricity in the village’s Primary School had been fruitless as ZETDC in Hwange said they did not have transport to travel to the village.
In an effort to increase its revenue collection ZETDC has warned its debtors in Harare that it would start disconnecting supplies in order to ensure payment.
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