Zimbabwe’s electricity remains comparatively cheap in the SADC region, despite successive hikes in the past two months. The latest hike of 50 percent took effect on Sunday. Electricity in Zimbabwe now costs an average of eight us cents per unit, compared to South Africa where a unit costs 13 cents, the same price as in Namibia and Malawi.
In Zambia, power costs three cents per unit, the cheapest in the region. Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority Executive Director, Edington Mazambani justified the recent power tariff increase.
“Our Zimbabwe dollar plummeted big time against the US dollar and we were not adjusting our rates. We are not really increasing the tariffs. We are just trying to move it back to where it was, (equivalent to the usd), which made the power utility function sustainably,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe feels the power utility should consider the public’s earnings. CCZ Executive Director, Rosemary Siyachitema, said
“Whether it’s cost effective or not for Zesa, that is not the issue. The issue is that we have witnessed three increments in succession and you are increasing on consumers whose salaries have not been increased at that same kind of level. Salaries and wages are really lagging behind.”