Zesa’s insistence on tariff hike insensitive
EDITOR — Utility power supplier, Zesa has promised load shedding to users if their upward tariff review is not granted. The people at Zesa need to understand that Zera, in their rationale used the current economic standings as a decisive factor and nothing else.
That decision was made with the people in mind. Times are hard and people cannot take an additional cost (being added) to their already demanding bill and other financial commitments.
The July 31 edition of the Sunday News carried a headline which read, “Zesa threatens load-shedding”. Are these people trying to hold the country at ransom if the upward review is not made?
I do not understand why Zera wants to engage an independent consultant to ascertain whether Zesa needs the money or not.
It is evident that there may be a genuine reason behind their proposed hike but where will people get the money. Most people think that electricity is already expensive as it is.
This hike is misplaced. While the Government is making efforts to improve the ease of doing business in the country, inflating fees to one of the most strategic elements of business looks counterproductive.
If power costs are increased, almost every meaningful producer and company is going to be affected.
This does not take a magician or pundit to understand that the cost will be conveyed to the consumer and all goods’ prices may also go higher.
With the Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 in place, Zesa must allow local industry to grow without constraints.
The policies have been put in place to shield manufacturers from cheap imports, it would not make sense if they increase their prices barely three months into the implementation process.
So, people at Zesa must understand that their entity is a very strategic entity and a “slight” change, smaller than the one being suggested can put an organisation`s budget into disarray.
A power tariff hike will obviously send seismic waves across individuals and companies. Zesa must rethink their idea and find alternatives. Vheremu, Chitungwiza