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480, 000 ZESCO customer benefit from Covid-19 relief package

By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
ABOUT 480,000 vulnerable customers countrywide have benefited from the Covid-19 relief package from ZESCO which commenced on December 1, 2020.

The power utility company has so far rolled out the allocation of 100 bonus units under this package.
Company Public Relations Manager, Hazel Zulu, said the bonus units would be issued to the most vulnerable residential customers who constituted about 460,000 low consuming customers.
Ms Zulu in a statement yesterday said the units would also be issued to 19, 000 micro-household enterprises who consume below 200 units.
This, she explained, was in an effort to ease the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the most vulnerable commercial and domestic customers and help them to improve their living conditions and their ability to pay for future power consumption.
“The bonus units relief package will run up to 30 April 2021 and customers that qualify will get their 100 units on the first purchase of each month in addition to the units that they buy in a particular month.
“These customers were identified earlier this year following an evaluation of their electricity consumption pattern,” she said.
In the same spirit, she said, the micro-household enterprises would be able to grow their businesses and increase their capacity to pay for business utility bills.
Ms Zulu however warned that the free 100 units were not accumulative and could not be deferred to another month.
Consequently, she explained, customers who would not purchase units in that particular month, would forfeit the bonus 100 units and cannot claim units from the previous month/s.
She said this was one of the three Covid-19 relief packages that ZESCO introduced as part of its contribution towards government’s multi-sectoral approach to ensure sustainability of the social and economic welfare of the people under the current environment.
“The other packages included cancellation of the accumulated fixed charges on 71,000 residential and commercial customers which was implemented on 1st August 2020.
“The other package was temporary suspension or deferment of the 40 percent recovery debt on selected customers whose debt was carried forward, after the introduction of the prepaid metering system in 2006,” she said.

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