Don’t withdraw tariff hike  proposal, ZESCO advised

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 09:33:39 +0000




ZESCO should not be intimidated into withdrawing the application to increase tariffs the way they did some years ago, Energy Forum Zambia Chairperson Johnstone Chikwanda has said

Mr Chikwanda said that it was wrong to ignite public anger ahead of the public hearings because the low tariffs have for a long time made investing in the electricity sector unattractive to the point that a SADC policy had to be adopted to establish timelines for attaining cost reflective electricity tariffs in the region.

“It is saddening and wrong to issue statements aimed at frightening independent power producers (IPPs) and igniting public anger just before the public hearings are about to be hosted by the Energy Regulation Board (ERB),” he stated.

Mr. Chikwanda said that the migration of electricity tariffs to cost reflective tariffs was not something that has started now because the migration plan was finalised some years ago.

He further said that the migration is in line with government policy of removing subsidies on electricity and fuel. He said further explained that the 2015 SADC Industrialization Strategy and roadmap which was approved by the SADC Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government in April 2015 in Harare, Zimbabwe identified energy as a “key enabler” for industrial development in the region

He said that the summit also resolved that to address the crippling energy deficit being faced by the region, and ensure the smooth implementation of the industrialization, the strategy advocates a variety of measures.

Mr Chikwanda said that while the Energy Forum supports the proposed tariffs, it has also supported sector reforms aimed at improving efficiency and viability of sector entities.

“The Energy Forum Zambia is calling upon government to re-examine the rationale and efficacy of holding public hearings before electricity tariffs are approved and it is our hope that the law which provides for this process shall one day get revisited,” he said

Mr. Chikwanda wondered what the reason of holding public hearings for electricity tariffs was when there are no public hearings for fuel tariff adjustments.


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