The state owned Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) said Monday it is owed a billion U.S. dollars by electricity consumers.
ZETDC managing director Julian Chinembiri told a parliamentary committee on mines and energy that government, state companies, local authorities and industry were among the major debtors.
According to figures released by the company, domestic users owe it 299 million dollars, mining and industry 244 dollars, commercial consumers 351 million dollars while agriculture owes the company more than 75 million dollars.
Chinembiri said the company is using many strategies to recover the money including the prepaid metering system.
“For every power purchase we deduct 30 percent of whatever is bought towards debt recovery. It is working well although it is very slow but we have to do it,” he said.
Chinembiri said the prepaid metering system started a few years ago had improved the company’s revenues with more than half a million customers now on the system throughout the country.
Plans were at an advanced stage to put bid electricity users on smart meters, he said.
The company, he added, owed various local financial institutions, among them, the central bank, more than 300 million dollars in funds borrowed to finance various projects.
With a daily demand of 1,950 megawatts, Zimbabwe produces about 1,250 megawatts leaving a deficit of 600 megawatts resulting in load shedding.
Chinembiri said although the country had agreements to buy power from neighboring countries such as South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, it was not getting the electricity because the countries were also facing power shortages.
Mozambique, he said, was demanding cash upfront which the company did not have. Enditem