BULAWAYO City Council has raised objections to Zesa’s bid to hike its energy tariffs, saying it would negatively affect its operations, as 75% of water costs were directly linked to the tariffs.
BY Nqobile Bhebhe
Council claims that last year, it spent $3 714 251,56 on energy.
In a report by the council’s environmental management and engineering services committee, acting town clerk, Sikhangezile Zhou said the proposed tariff hike was unsustainable.
“Thereafter, the acting town clerk advised that the current proposal by Zesa to increase energy charges by 49% would increase the electricity charges to unsustainable levels and council had already objected to such increases. The director of engineering services explained that 75% of water costs were directly linked to Zesa tariff,” the report read.
The local authority requires constant supply of electricity for water purification.
Zesa subsidiaries have proposed a 49% tariff hike to 14,69 cents per kilowatt hour, which they say is cost reflective and necessary to augment emergency power imports. Zesa recently started importing 300MW from South Africa’s Eskom to augment local generation.
Zimbabwe Power Company is proposing a 22% increase in power costs from 5,06 cents per kilowatt hour to 6,64 cents per kilowatt hour, while the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company is proposing to sell the power to consumers at 14,69 cents per kilowatt hour from 9,86 cents, an increase of 49%.
At a feedback meeting in Emganwini, Bulawayo, residents resolved to stage protests against planned tariff increases in the coming weeks.