By A Correspondent- National power utility, Zesa, reportedly lost close to $4,5 billion by charging uneconomic rates during the lockdown period, hence the recent decision to hike the tariffs by 150%.
Energy minister Zhemu Soda told Senate last Thursday that between March and September this year, Zesa cashflows dropped significantly as consumers’ disposable incomes were constrained.
As a result, he said the power utility owed Mozambique more than $100 million for power imports.
“People were not earning much because of the COVID-19 lockdown. The energy company lost a total of $4,5 billion. It was very difficult to rectify or fix anomalies within the power company because of lack of funds,” Soda said.
“As we speak, nothing was being done, but the government made it a point that people got
electricity even during the lockdown. There was a loss in value of electricity tariffs by 337%. In March the tariffs were valued at US$0,10. Now the tariffs have risen as at November 1, 2020 for domestic use to US$6,03,” he said.
The Energy minister said they were importing electricity at US$0,90 per kWh.
He said independent power producers also sold electricity to the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company at US$0,90 per kWh.
“For those who are using electricity for domestic use, the difference is being taken as a subsidy from government so that people do not pay all the money as expected from the electricity that is imported from other countries. There are also transmission costs to cover the cost of getting electricity to this country as well as distribution costs, including labour for the workers who are working in the energy industry,” Soda said.