By Anna Chibamu
FINANCE Minister Mthuli Ncube has more than doubled electricity tariffs for ordinary consumers with more than 200 percent effective immediately.
Presenting his 2019 Mid-Term Monetary Policy Review statement on Thursday, Ncube gave power utility, Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) the nod to implement the tariff increase.
“Electricity tariffs for domestic consumers will be increased from an average of ZWL9.66c/kWh to an average of ZWL27c/kWh (US3c/kW,” said Ncube.
This comes after Energy Minister Fortune Chasi early this week told the media during a post-cabinet briefing that government was working on modalities to increase electricity charges.
He said the country’s tariffs did not matching those being charged within the region.
The tariff increase will also touch on non-exporting businesses by almost 500 % from a mere ZWL9.66c/kWh to ZWL45c/kWh translating to approximately US5cper kW.
Agriculture consumers have not been spared as they fall under the consumer bracket with US3c increase per kW.
According to Ncube, “the mining tariff for ferrochrome smelter and other miners will be maintained at US$0.067/kw and US$0.0986/kW to ensure that resources are ring-fenced in a special account solely for purposes of importing electricity.
He requested that the power utility be allowed to bill other exporters in foreign currency and ensure resources are ring-fenced in a special bank account for purposes of importing scarce electricity.
This week government reported that Zesa secured US$15 million to pay South African’s Eskom and unlock 400MWpower.
Same period, fuel prices also went up from RTGS $7.47 to RTGS$7.55 (petrol) and diesel was up from RTGS$7.19 to RTGS$7.22 in less than two weeks ostensibly to make the commodity available on the market.