July 27 (Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe’s licensed independent power producers aren’t filling the gap left by the state-owned utility because prices are too low, Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Authority spokesman Fullard Gwasira said.
“Our tariff compared to that charged in the region is really cheap,” Gwasira said in an interview on the sidelines of a manufacturing industry conference in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Currently ZESA is charging 7.53 cents per kilowatt, compared with a regional average of 12 cents, he said.
Zimbabwe, the southern African nation with the second- biggest reserves of platinum and chrome, suffers regular power outages, and rations energy to homes and businesses.
ZESA is owed $450 million by consumers, which is affecting its operations, Gwasira said. It owes other suppliers $100 million, he said.
Government should lift a ban on private power importers as ZESA is failing, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries President Joseph Kanyekanye said in a speech at the conference.
“Industry requested an opportunity to import power directly,” Kanyekanye said. “This was shot down.”
--Editors: Gordon Bell, Philip Sanders
To contact the reporter on this story: Godfrey Marawanyika in Johannesburg at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at email@example.com