New tariff will make ZESCO more efficient – minister

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 10:54:19 +0000

BY MAILESI BANDA

THE decision to increase ZESCO tariffs should be supported if Zambia is to see growth in rural and urban industrialization, Energy Minister David Mabumba has said.

The minister said the proposed tariff increment would enable the power utility become more efficient in the supply of electricity.

Mr. Mabumba said improved electricity supply would directly contribute to business growth as this would increase productivity.

He said the ministry was working towards improving the operations of the electricity supply company, adding that the increment would lead to improved service delivery.

“ZESCO has to survive and this can only be done if the company generates profit. The private sector should not complain about how much losses they will make but should rather imagine the losses they would incur without proper electricity supply,’’ he said.

He said in order for Zambia to attract investment into the energy sector it was important that the tariffs were increased to suit those in the region, adding that it was important that the private sector supported the institution that supported the growth of their businesses.

He said if the private sector wanted to experience industrial growth it was important that they accepted the increment.

“If we want to support rural and urban industrialization and the growth of the economy in the long term and the viability of the energy sector, we have no option because it’s a plain fact that we need to support the increase in electricity tariffs,’’ he said.

Mr Mabumba explained that during the power deficits the country experienced in the past two years a number of industries closed down.

He noted that most of the companies making products for export stopped due to the power challenge that the country was faced with.

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