By JUDITH NAMUTOWE –
THE Zambia Consumer Association (ZACA) has said the upward tariff adjustment by Zesco will negatively impact on the gains attained in the country’s economic development.
ZACA executive secretary Sammuel Simutunda said the electricity tarrif increase will make consumers desperate considering the continued depreciation of the Kwacha.
Zesco will next month increase electricity tariffs by 24 per cent for domestic customers and 15 per cent for commercial users.
The increase is effective July 1, 2014 after Energy Regulation Board (ERB) approved Zesco’s application to adjust the tariffs upwards.
Mr Simutunda said the increase was on a higher side and that, the cost of living would go up thereby disadvantaging the most vulnerable in society.
He said ZACA would have appreciated a minimal increase rather than 24 per cent.
“We also think that ERB should have waited to see how the economy performs with the depreciation of the Kwacha,” he said.
He noted that much as the association appreciate that Zesco needed money for its operations, ERB should have considered a marginal increase.