Zimbabwe Electricity Prices To Increase Four-Fold As Economic Woes Deepen
It is no doubt that Zimbabweans are living one of their toughest times. Unpaid wages, the rising cost of living, lack of foreign currencies to run businesses, severe fuel shortages, lack of medical supplies and 18-hour daily power blackouts, just to name but a few continue to threaten social unrest.
The current economic state awakens memories of the economic disaster that took place a decade ago after money was printed in excess leading to hyperinflation that forced the Southern African country to abandon its currency.
The optimism for a better Zimbabwe as promised by President Emmerson Mnangagwa while he was taking over power is slowly fading. A year after he took over the wheels of the Zimbabwean economy, the situation is not any better as for many Zimbabweans “life has gotten tougher.” Living conditions for millions have deteriorated dramatically.
Zimbabweans are yet to feel another pinch as average electricity tariffs have been hiked by 320 percent.
Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has made known that it has given Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) the go-ahead to raise the tariff to 162.16 cents from 38.61 cents.
According to the regulator, the hike was necessary to raise money for the repair of generators, pay for imports from South Africa’s Eskom and Mozambique which costs USD 19.5 Mn monthly.
ZERA also said that the increase will help enhance power supplies given the current situation where daily blackouts have become a norm.
The move will come as a big blow for consumers who are already grappling with towering inflation that is consuming their incomes. The price of commodities and services continues to soar as salaries remain constant making life harder for citizens.
The regulator further noted that the tariff was necessary after inflation soared to about 300 percent in August, this is according to IMF reports.
Things seem to be moving from better to worse for the economy as a Treasury document showed that Zimbabwe’s economy is projected to contract by up to 6 percent this year. The projected contraction has been attributed to the current frequent and prolonged power cuts that have hit mines, industry, and the drought being experienced.
Featured Image Courtesy: Energy World