It has not yet been confirmed but we are almost certain ZESA will hike its tariffs over this coming weekend. We also don’t know how big the coming tariff increase will be but it might be big so prepare yourself. Our forecast is based on tentative evidence. The Minister of energy and various government officials affiliated with ZESA have been calling for a tariff increase for months. They have labelled the current tariff uneconomic since the power utility not only has to service equipment and pay its workers but to also pay for electricity imports to cover the constant shortfall between demand and generation capacity.
Crucially ZESA has just announced that their prepaid system will be offline during the weekend starting on Friday night until Sunday. The national power utility often takes its prepaid token system offline whenever they want to hike tariffs. For some reason, it seems like they cannot just change the tariffs while the system is running. The three-day offline period is probably meant as a precautionary measure to make sure that the tariff hike goes smoothly.
ZIMBABWE ELECTRICITY TRANSMISSION & DISTRIBUTION COMPANY: NOTICE TO OUR VALUED CUSTOMERS: NATIONWIDE
The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) would like to advise its valued customers countrywide that the Prepaid Electricity Vending system will undergo a scheduled maintenance and upgrading exercise from Friday, 22nd to Sunday, 24th April 2022 to improve its operational efficiency and quality of service delivery.
ZETDC further advises that during that planned maintenance period, customers will NOT be able to purchase electricity units normally and they are encouraged to buy enough power to sustain them during this planned upgrading period.
The inconvenience is sincerly regrettedZESA’s notice on the issue
The war in Ukraine
The war in Ukraine has had a deep and negative effect on the Zimbabwean economy and it’s probable that we will continue to see the devastating effects of this war on our economy. The most immediate effect has been the increase in fuel prices. It is probable that given the minimal load-shedding we have been going through that a lot of businesses have been relying more on electricity which has become cheaper thanks to inflation and incessant rate hikes. This would have increased the demand for electricity leading to load shedding.
As already noted the effects of the war have led to rate spikes as the local ZWL unit slid against the USD. This means that the tariffs which were last changed months ago have are now very uneconomical as the price of everything goes up. Even if the tariffs are not hiked over the weekend expect the hike to be affected soon. We are almost certain though that we will see a hike over the weekend. You would therefore do well to top up before this weekend if only to avoid getting caught up during the “maintenance period.”