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Zimbabweans should brace for sustained crippling power cuts after energy regulator, Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) rejected tariff hike application from Zesa.
Zesa had applied to increase power costs to 14,69 cents per kilowatt hour from 9,86 cents, an increase of 49 percent.
The controversial bid hike which drew condemnation from business sector and individual consumers was rejected on July 14.
“After duly considering the tariff application the written and oral submissions from various consumer groups and stakeholders as well as facts and evidence provided by ZETDC, the ZERA Board on 14 July 2016 made a determination that the current tariff of 9.86c/kWh be retained for the year 2016,” ZERA board chairperson, Ester Khoza announced.
During consultations Energy Minister Samuel Undenge had maintained that there was no going back on the increase because Zesa had to finance urgently required power generating projects.
Undenge was adamant that a tariff increase was justified saying Zesa had to pay for imports from countries like South Africa, which is supplying the country with 300MW.
Zera recently announced that it turned down a request by Zesa to approve a power increase from 9,86c/kWh to 11,2c/kWh.
According to Sunday News, Zesa business planning and development manager Patrick Chivaura said load-shedding was inevitable.
“The regulator rejected our tariff application saying our tariffs are too high, if our tariffs are too high, then industry must maybe invest in its own plants,” Chivaura.
Zesa spokesman Fullard Gwasira Zesa is still importing power from Eskom as prepaid electricity.
“The fact that Zesa has been able to keep the lights on for the past four years despite not having a tariff increase reflects the efficiency interventions which management has been able to put in place over the years,” he said.
In recent months load shedding had been a thing of the past. source-bulawayo24