By Beauty Runako Slindiwa
FINANCE minister Mthuli Ncube announced new electricity tarrifs on Thursday also citing an increase on road toll fees.
The new prices would see average domestic electricity tariffs rise to ZW$0.27 up from ZW$0.9 per kilowatt/hour with immediate effect as a move for government to raise more funds for power imports.
The business tariff would average ZW$0.45, up from nine cents.
Zimbabwe has been suffering acute power shortages since May as a result of a prolonged drought that has reduced output at its largest hydro plant in Kariba and ageing coal-fired generators that keep breaking down.
“In the short term, power supply deficit can only be met through power imports and hence it is urgent that the government capacitates ZESA to mobilise requisite resources through appropriate cost recovery tariffs implemented through a differentiated scale,” Ncube said.
ZESA will be allowed to bill exporting firms in foreign currency which should be ring-fenced in a special account solely for purposes of importing electricity, the minister added.
Presenting the 2019 mid-term budget review, The Minister also announced that tollgate fees for light motor vehicles would go up from ZW$2 to ZW$10 – meaning motorists will now pay ZW$60 on a one-way trip between Harare and Bulawayo.
Minibuses will pay ZW$15 up from ZW$3; buses will pay ZW$20 which has increased from the current ZW$4; heavy duty vehicles will pay ZW$25 from the previous ZW$5 and new toll fees for haulage trucks are ZW$50 from ZW$10 previously.