Zimbabwe’s Dark and Difficult Times

Zimbabwe has raised its average electricity tariff by 320 percent to ramp up power supplies at a time of daily blackouts. The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) said it had approved an application by Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) to raise the tariff. ZERA said the tariff rise was necessary after inflation soared – the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it was about 300 percent in August. Zimbabwe introduced an interim sovereign currency – the Real Time Gross Settlement dollar or Zimdollar – in February which quickly fell prey to black market speculation. Consumers seem set for more price increases after the energy regulator said that, starting November, the power utility would index its tariff to the US dollar to enable it “to recover from inflation and exchange rate changes”. The new tariff would allow ZETDC to raise money to repair its generators, as well as pay for imports from South Africa’s Eskom and Mozambique which cost $19.5m every month, the regulator said.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

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