THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) is seeking to increase electricity tariffs from US$0.1063 to US$0.1263 as it tries to raise US$2.95 billion to reinforce its network.
ZETDC revealed this at the ongoing ZERA-led consultations with consumers on the proposed tariff increase.
The utility says it is also owed US$243 million by electricity consumers, and has a backlog of 400 000 which cannot be connected due to challenges of funding emanating from an unsustainable low tariff and vandalism of electricity infrastructure.
Between 2009 and 2022, the utility suffered a revenue deficit due to non-cost-reflective tariff structures.
“The impact was failure to maintain, expand and rehabilitate the electricity infrastructure at the same level as the number of consumers increased.
“In order to maintain credit worthiness, ZETDC has to pay US$35 million every month towards the servicing of a loan for the upgrade of Hwange 7 and 8 power generators to the Chinese who did the rehabilitation works,” ZETDC said.
It said the current rate of US$0.1063c, which was last approved in 2019, was too low to support the current financial and power generation obligations. On complaints raised by residents on the issue of contributions being regularly made by consumers towards acquiring transformers and other infrastructure, ZETDC said there were different modes of contributions, but it had the ultimate responsibility for its infrastructure.
“We are introducing anti-intrusion detectors to protect transformers because our main problem remains vandalism of electricity infrastructure, which has left us with 27 000 points in need of transformer replacements.
“Residents, who want to make any contributions towards securing their transformers, can do it in liaison with ZETDC officials, but the mechanism needs to be reviewed to ensure that everything is done above board,” ZETDC said.