PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has directed Zesco to revert to previous tariffs before the November increase.
Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public relations Amos Chanda announced yesterday that the reversal was in response to the public outcry over the recently increased electricity tariffs approved by the Energy Regulation Board (ERB).
Mr Chanda said the electricity tariffs would be reversed to the previous charges until the Ministry of Energy devised a gradual system for the increase.
“President Lungu has directed a reversal of the revised electricity tariffs to the old until such a time when there will be a gradual system of increasing the tariffs. The President recognizes the plight of the consumer who has been hit hard with the recent power price increment, as well as the falling of the Kwacha which has affected commodity pricing, and so has directed that the tariff plan reversed to the old one with effect from January 1, 2016,” he said.
Mr Chanda explained that in view of President’s directive, the Minister of Energy would issue a comprehensive statement to explain the motive behind the reversal as well as a more systematic increase of tariffs which should not overload the consumer.
He said the President had paid much attention to the cries of Zambians who were subjected to up to 300 percent tariff increments especially in light of the other prevailing economic factors.
“As a country, we are facing the worst set of crisis, the load shedding is the worst in the last 50 years, our copper prices are the lowest in the last 10 years, the appreciation of the US $ has affected the exchange rate and has knocked our kwacha.
“We are likely to face the worst drought in 15 years because of the El-nino weather condition, food prices have been affected since our economy is import based,” Mr Chanda said.
ZESCO announced recently that the ERB had approved up to 300 percent electricity tariff increase for both domestic and commercial customers.