High electricity tariffs crippling industry: CZI

HARARE - The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) is pleading with the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) to slash power tariffs in order to ensure viability of its members’ businesses.

In its presentation to Zera, Zimbabwe’s largest industrial representative group wants Zera to bring down the local electricity tariff in line with the going rates in the sub-region.

CZI president Sifelani Jabangwe said the average tariff in Zambia was 0,5 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh) whereas power utility, Zesa Holdings, is charging 9,6 cents per kwh.

He said the high electricity tariffs were significantly raising the cost of doing business in Zimbabwe and threatening the industrial sector’s viability since a significant portion of revenues generated by companies was going towards electricity costs.

Zesa has often cited low tariffs undermining its efforts to guarantee consistent electricity supplies. Zimbabwe currently generates less than 1 000 megawatts (MW) of electricity against peak demand of over 2 000MW, a situation that has held back the recovery of the key mining and manufacturing sectors.

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