Zesa hikes debt re­cov­ery rate for pre­paid con­sumers

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Bianca Mlilo

ZESA has in­creased to 50 per­cent the re­cov­ery rate for pre­paid do­mes­tic cus­tomers in ar­rears with ef­fect from next month to en­sure that they pay up their debts within rea­son­able pe­ri­ods.

The power util­ity, through its sub­sidiary, the Zim­babwe Elec­tric­ity Trans­mis­sion and Dis­tri­bu­tion Com­pany (ZETDC), in a state­ment yes­ter­day said it was in­ten­si­fy­ing rev­enue col­lec­tion ef­forts to main­tain the pre­vail­ing sta­ble power sup­ply.

“To that end, ZETDC would like to ad­vise all pre­paid do­mes­tic cus­tomers in ar­rears that the re­cov­ery rate of 40 per­cent will be in­creased to 50 per­cent with ef­fect from 1st of Septem­ber 2016 to en­sure that they pay up their debts within rea­son­able pe­ri­ods,” said the power util­ity.

It said all busi­ness cus­tomers on both pre­paid and post-paid plat­forms in ar­rears were also be­ing ad­vised to clear their debts within six months with ef­fect from Septem­ber 1, 2016, for the power util­ity to be able to sup­ply ad­e­quate elec­tric­ity to con­sumers.

Zesa was urg­ing elec­tric­ity con­sumers to set­tle their bills on time to avoid dis­con­nec­tion.

“ZETDC urges all de­fault­ing cus­tomers to pay their bills on time to avoid the in­con­ve­nience of dis­con­nec­tion. All cus­tomers who don’t re­spond to this no­tice will be handed over to our lawyers for col­lec­tion. The power util­ity is com­mit­ted to main­tain­ing the pre­vail­ing re­li­able power sup­ply sit­u­a­tion, which is only be­ing made pos­si­ble by sta­ble lo­cal gen­er­a­tion and pre­paid power im­ports,” it said.

In the past, some con­sumers have ac­cused Zesa of in­flat­ing bills, ar­gu­ing that they were based on es­ti­mates.

Last week, Zesa spokesper­son Mr Fullard Gwasira said the power com­pany has recorded an in­crease in the num­ber of de­fault­ers re­sult­ing in the elec­tric­ity con­sumers’ debt ris­ing to over $1 bil­lion.

He said the ris­ing debt was con­strain­ing the ca­pac­ity of Zesa to meet crit­i­cal obli­ga­tions such as elec­tric­ity im­ports, coal and spares to re­pair faults and statu­tory obli­ga­tions.

One of the coun­try’s power plants, Kariba Hy­dropower Sta­tion, was now con­tribut­ing 36 per­cent of to­tal elec­tric­ity into the na­tional grid due to per­sis­tently low lake wa­ter lev­els at Kariba Dam.

By the end of last week, the lake wa­ter level at Kariba had dropped by 0,08 me­tres to 479,79 me­tres while dur­ing the same pe­riod last year the wa­ter level was at 480,42 me­tres.

As of Wed­nes­day, the Zim­babwe Power Com­pany in­di­cated on its web­site that the coun­try was gen­er­at­ing 1 040 megawatts against a na­tional de­mand of 2 200MW. — @ Bian­caMlilo

Mr Fullard Gwasira

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