GOVERNMENT should increase its budget allocation to address the current energy crisis in the nation, says the Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS).
According to CUTS, accountability in addressing the current energy crisis would result in tangible results for both the ordinary Zambians as well as industries which serve as the backbone of the economy.
This is contained in CUTS recent report entitled “Leveraging regional policy successes to improve interventions by the Food Reserve Agency and the performance of maize markets in Zambia”.
The organisation has also called on the new Government to focus its future efforts on growing and diversifying generation capacity to keep pace with Zambia’s economic growth.
CUTS says the solution to the crisis required steps to mitigate immediate effects and longer-term policies to tackle the fundamental vulnerabilities of Zambia’s power sector.
“The success of both sets of actions fundamentally hinge on implementing a tariff strategy that seeks to both incentivize investment as well as maintain access and affordability of electricity to consumers.
“This is essential to limit pressures on public finances and attract greater private investment into the sector so that the 6,000 MW unexploited hydro power potential can be exploited by giving them more incentives to invest in the sector,” reads the report in part.
Alleviating the power crisis will require continuously growing capacity, diversifying generation and better management of water resources and providing incentives to encourage Independent Power Producers (IPPS) in the long-term.
“The Government should also seek to unbundle however implementing these measures may necessitate fundamental restructuring of the sector aimed at improving planning, procurement, financial sustainability and encouraging participation by the private sector,” read the report