Load shedding hurting economy, says UNIP

Sat, 07 Jan 2017 10:51:31 +0000


PROLONGED hours of load shedding has impacted negatively on the growth of industries dependent on electricity and has hampered economic growth, the United National Independence Party (UNIP) has said.

UNIP secretary general Alfred Banda noted that the extension of load shedding hours has made it difficult for businesses which depended on electricity to operate at their maximum and that reduced output in all sectors in the country posed a negative outlook on the economic performance of Zambia.

Rev. Banda implored the Ministry of Energy to provide an update on the generation capacity of ZESCO from time to time so that Zambians could know the current state of affairs other than remaining mute while load shedding was on the increase.

He said Zambians had hoped that with the increase in rainfall activities all over the country, load shedding would significantly reduce as the challenge of low water levels in the Kariba Dam would be overcome.

He said there was need for the ministry to keep Zambians updated before they started thinking that the excuse for low power generation was a farce and not connected to water levels as attributed by ZESCO.

“Prolonged hours of load shedding are proving a menace to the growth of our economy as most industries depending on power are either grounded or have to look for other sources of power which are more expensive.

‘‘The worst part is that this is coming at the backdrop of heavy rains which have characterised most parts of the country, giving us hope that water levels will rise to levels where ZESCO can begin to generate electricity at its maximum.

“The silence from the ministry is worrying because without updates, Zambians will start thinking that the load shedding they are experiencing is not due to water levels from our generation sources but something else. “We need updates from time to time so that we know what is happening,” Rev. Banda said.

He appealed to ZESCO to do all it can to reduce hours of load shedding as the current situation was a threat to investment and economic growth.

“All the industries are under attack. Even small scale-businesses have felt the impact as some of them have resorted to working in the night in some cases when there is power but cannot still produce at their maximum.

“ZESCO should reduce load shedding hours as soon as possible because this is affecting business and the economy at large,” he said.


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