Industry, mines top Zesa debtors list
INDUSTRY and mining firms are at the top of the list of debtors who owe power utility Zesa Holdings in the Southern Region, a report has shown.
The power utility is owed $279.1 million with industrial and mining customers’ debt constituting 73 percent in the region. Zesa Southern Region comprises of the entire Midlands, parts of Matabeleland North and parts of Mashonaland East Provinces.
The debt is part of the over $1 billion owed to Zesa across the country. Recently the power utility threatened to pull the plug on customers who are in arrears.
Zesa southern region general manager Engineer King Dube told Business Chronicle that non-payment of bills by customers was negatively affecting the company’s operations and viability.
He said: “As at July 2016, ZETDC Southern Region was owed $279,1 million by its clients comprised of mining and industrial companies, which stands at $203,1 million while commercial clients owe us $53.1 million, domestic $15,7 million, farmers and institutions owe $7.2 million.
“Unpaid bills are negatively hampering our operations and viability. We would like to inform our valued clients with outstanding debts that credit control measures are underway throughout the region in order to recover the arrears to enable us to improve service delivery. Customers are encouraged to settle their bills to avoid inconveniences of being disconnected.”
Among the biggest industrial and mining debtors are Sable Chemicals, which is believed to be owing about $150 million, Zimasco and Sabi Gold Mine.
Engineer Dube said pre-paid meter installations represented 94 percent of its customers in the province with the majority being domestic consumers. He warned customers of tampering with the meters which he said is criminal.
“As of 30 July 2016 prepayment meter installations were standing at 77 276 representing 94 percent of our total customer base of 82 437. Ninety five percent of meters installed in the region have anti-tampering features, which automatically disconnects power to the customer if the meter connections are tampered with.
“We also run continuous random household inspections to check integrity of our metering units. This means we will stumble upon any other unreported case of meter tampering. The other five percent of the meters are mounted on pole tops to ensure unscrupulous customer will not be able to access the meters to tamper with them. Those found on the wrong side are reported to the police as it is a criminal offence to tamper with ZETDC meters, which attracts 10 years imprisonment if convicted,” he added. — @lavuzigara1
Zimasco plant in Kwekwe