Lusaka, October 20, 2019
As per a press statement released by ZESCO on 17 October, CUTS has noted that beginning 19 October, load shedding is expected to increase for a period of 12 days country-wide due to the taking out of service of one generating unit at Maamba Collieries Limited Power Station. This is due to a fault that developed on 15 October and so to mitigate the shortfall during the shutdown period, additional load management of up to three hours will be implemented.
This situation further emphasises the need to expedite the process of identifying a short-term solution to Zambia’s energy situation. Many consumers, both residential and businesses, have already been struggling with the current load shedding hours. Not only are consumers being burdened with extended periods of load shedding but further to this we have seen that at times ZESCO has been unable to keep to their load shedding schedules, further exacerbating the crisis.
We urge ZESCO to share the progress of their discussions regarding the importation of electricity. In the past couple of weeks we have seen speculation from various stakeholders regarding the progress of the discussions with Eskom. The lack of clarity is causing uncertainty to the country’s business environment and is contributing to a lack of confidence on the part of the general population.
As these discussions take place we wish to reiterate that the ERB needs to be as transparent and consultative as possible, particularly during discussions pertaining to the tariff hikes that may need to accompany the importation of electricity. Indeed, if the tariff hikes are too high and there is no change in the service provision, the hikes may be beyond the reach of those who need to use electricity. CUTS has been doing some work on this and will continue monitor the impact of tariff rises on poverty as well as continue to engage on an incremental and equitable roadmap to moving to cost-reflective tariffs.
By Chenai Mukumba, CUTS Centre Coordinator
For further information please contact: The Centre Coordinator, Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS), House No 32, Plot 407, Kudu Road, Kabulonga, Lusaka. Email: email@example.com or phone: 097 8055 293.
The Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) International, Lusaka in an NGO that was established in 2000 to function as a center for action (policy) research, advocacy and networking on issues of trade and development, competition policy, investment regulation and consumer protection. The mission of the center is to function as a resource, co-ordination, as well as networking center, to promote South-South cooperation on trade and development by involving state and non-state actors (NSAs). CUTS implements four different strategies in its work: Research, Policy Advocacy, Capacity-building and Networking