MPS pronouncements puts ZESA in dilemma over tariffs

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    Harare – The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company, (ZETDC) on Wednesday said the pronouncements made during the Monetary Policy Statement by the RBZ governor placed them in a difficult position in regards to their tariffs.

    During the MPS presentation, Dr John Mangudya officially denominated all Bond Notes and Coins, mobile money and RTGS balances to RTGS dollars. What this implies is that people and entities will have to return all the different balances they hold back to the bank to be redeemed in RTGS dollars.

    According to Mangudya the measure is designed to preserve the purchasing power of RTGS money and restore export competitiveness within the economy. Whilst the Governor is saying he is guarding against re-dollarisation of the economy, it is no doubt that the USD will remain the base currency for trading purposes in Zimbabwe because businesses prefer trading in a stable currency.

    Presenting at the 2019 electricity outlook dialogue organized by the Zimbabwe Energy Council in the capital, Corporate Commercial Services Manager at ZETDC, Richard Mariwa said the company is still navigating possible scenarios in regards of positioning their tariffs.

    “There is a lot we could have discussed but those issues are still in the grey area, we still need guidance, we need to go and test the scenarios. Other service providers are now discounting their goods and services when paying with the US$.

    “If we go by that, our tariffs now are not only sub economic but ridiculous. Tomorrow we can close shop and go home. You are talking about 3 US cents, 4 US cents and it’s not even enough to pay the hydro power generating company. But like I said we need to work on those issues, there need to be level headed people who will look at all scenarios and then a position will be taken.”

    An example is that of the country’s largest fast food chain, Simbisa Brands Limited (SBL), which implemented a two-tier pricing model, offering discounts for customers paying in United States dollars arguing that it is trying to raise foreign currency required to pay royalties for the foreign franchises it operates.

    The model, which has been adopted by mostly smaller informal retailers, will see discounts for customers using the United States dollar, while those using real time gross settlement balances (swipe), mobile money or bond notes will be charged a different price.

    Equity Axis News

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