By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
ZESCO has saved close to K300 million in austerity measures which have been implemented by the company, acting Managing Director, Webster Musonda, has said.
Mr Musonda said Zesco had been implementing austerity measures to reduce the company’s expenditure.
He was speaking in Lusaka at the Public Hearing on Zesco’s proposal to adjust electricity tariffs.
“Austerity measures implemented by the company have resulted in a drop in expenditure of close to K300 million,” Mr Musonda said.
Zesco, he said, had made strides in several transmission and distribution projects to improve the reliability of power supply across the country.
He explained that the projects included the Lusaka Transmission, Distribution and Rehabilitation Project and the Kafuewww Town – Muzuma – Victoria Falls Regional Transmission Line Upgrade among others.
He said Zesco was expected to commission the 15 megawatts of power Lusiwasi Upper project in the first quarter of next year and that the project had largely been driven by the additional revenue from the 2017 tariff increase.
“Significant progress has been made on the completion of the Kafue Gorge Lower Project which is expected to come fully online in 2020 and add 750MW to the grid.
“Zesco has connected close to 150, 000 new customers since the 2017 tariff increase and reached its one millionth customer thereby playing a significant,” Mr Musonda said.
Mr Musonda also expressed concern that the monthly fixed charge which was cumulative was proving to be a hindrance to access to electricity for its most vulnerable customers.
He said it was estimated that 25 percent of the customer base was unable to make regular purchases of electricity as a result of the fixed charge.
“Zesco is proposing that the fixed charge be abolished. Residential customers will be able to get units for all the money they spend.
“Our simulations show that the impact of the proposed tariffs will be a reduction in monthly bills for customers consuming under 58 kilowatts per month,” Mr Musonda said.