Power Failures Will Take a Toll on the Economy

The trade and consumer NGO Consumer Unity Trust Society (CUTS) has observed that the increasing frequency of blackouts and brownouts will have adverse impact on the country’s economic performance.

CUTS International Board Chairman Ambassador Love Mtesa noted that economic performance has greatly been hampered by load shedding by the state power utility, Zesco.

Ambassador Mtesa said his organisation has continued receiving numerous reports of plant and factory shut downs because of intermittent power load shedding.He said the cost of running stand by generator sets will further add to the already high cost of doing business in Zambia.

“What we are going to see is a situation where manufacturers of various goods and services will increase their prices and thereby passing on that extra cost to the consumer,” Ambassador Mtesa said.

Ambassador Mtesa said even at the household level, many families have resorted to the use of charcoal for home use thereby increasing deforestation. He has since urged Zesco to work on a predictable and well calculated load shedding schedule that will respect the interests of consumers.Ambassador Mtesa regretted that random and rampant load shedding was negatively affecting national productivity and economic performance.

“As a responsible power utility should have a basic set of minimum service level standards which they should always strive to meet but the manner in which they are load shedding seems to suggest otherwise,” Ambassador Mtesa said.

Zesco on Monday evening announced an increased load shedding amounting to 365 Mega Watts deficit of power following a maintenance shutdown of generator number 1 at Kafue Gorge power plant.

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