We are not being greedy by proposing to hike electricity tariffs, but we need to cover our operational costs, says Zesco Limited’s director for strategy and corporate services Patrick Mwila.
And Zesco managing director Victor Mundende has disclosed that the power utility’s tariff increment proposal, an average 91 per cent hike, is targeted to be implemented in one single phase.
Meanwhile, data availed by Zesco reveals that the power utility hopes to generate over K16 billion revenue within the first full year of implementing the controversial tariffs.
Zesco proposes to increase retail tariffs by an average of 91 per cent in 2019 rising from an average of K0.77/kWh to K1.47/kWh.
This increase will ensure that all tariffs move to cost reflectivity for the year 2019.
Customers in the services category will face the largest increase at 134 per cent, followed by residential and commercial customers with increases of 101 per cent and 95 per cent, respectively.
But speaking during a press briefing in Lusaka, Wednesday, Mwila told journalists that Zesco was not being greedy in wanting to hike the power tariffs, justifying the huge tariff increment as helping the utility to cushion its escalating operational costs.
An analysis of regional tariffs within the SADC region indicates that Zambia is the second lowest with an average tariff of about 6.5 US cents per kWh, according to Zesco presentation availed to the media.
Zesco’s total operating costs rapidly climbed to K13.46 billion last year from K2.1 billion in 2011 to due to an increase in both cost of sales and other operating costs over the period.
It is, therefore, envisaged that this tariff increase would only be pushing the utility to within acceptable/cost reflective tariffs that are already being charged in the region.
“There are many factors which are informing this tariff review; it is something we must do for our nation, we must do for ourselves and we are not being greedy at all! This is a matter we are bringing