See also:
» 29.06.2010 - Southern Africa-EU trade deal finally in sight
» 16.10.2009 - SA teams up with neighbours for a clean environment
» 15.10.2009 - Zambia becomes agric support hub for Southern Africa
» 05.10.2009 - SADC leads Africa on governance barometer
» 21.09.2009 - SADC partnership could solve energy shortage by 2016
» 07.09.2009 - SADC shifts Zim for special summit
» 04.09.2009 - Southern Africa Trust to collaborate with Mauritius
» 03.09.2009 - African police chiefs to strengthen collaboration with INTERPOL

China wholesale online through

Houlihan's coupons

Finn autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden på
Gazpacho Børek Kartoffelsalat Taboulé Gulasj Albóndigas Cevapi Rougaille Japrak sarma Zwiebelbrot Klopse Giouvetsi Paella Pljeskavica Pica pau Pulpo a la gallega Flammkuchen Langosj Tapenade Chatsjapuri Pasulj Lassi Kartoffelpuffer Tortilla Raznjici Knödel Lentejas Bœuf bourguignon Korianderchutney Brenneslesuppe Proia Sæbsi kavurma Sardinske calamares

Autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden finner du på
Réunion Portugal Aserbajdsjan Serbia Tyskland Seychellene Bosnia Spania Libanon Belgia India Kroatia Hellas Italia Ungarn Komorene Georgia Mauritius Østerrike Romania Frankrike

Southern Africa
Economy - Development | Politics | Society

'Cushion poor against high power tariffs'

afrol News/SANF, 1 August - The regional energy regulatory association has called on southern African countries to adjust electricity tariffs bearing in mind the potential negative impact this may have on the more vulnerable members of society.

The Chairperson of the Regional Electricity Regulators Association of Southern Africa (RERA), Silvester Hibajene, said recently in Zambia that although the Southern African Development Community (SADC) bloc needs more effective liberalisation and infrastructural development of the energy sector, severe "shock-prone" tariff changes will impose unnecessarily high cost on people's living standards, especially among the poor.

Hibajene said while the power shortages were affecting regional economies in general, the principles of cost-reflective electricity tariffs should be applied together with pro-poor measures.

"There are so many questions about the magnitude and impact of tariff reviews as well as questions among stakeholders in the region about their obligations, especially to the poor who are vulnerable to such increases," he said.

Hibajene said businesses will pass the cost of the hike to consumers who are already feeling the brunt of rising costs of basic commodities.

"It is a sad story and an unfortunate thing because it ends up hitting hard on ordinary people," he said.

On 1 July, Namibia and Botswana increased their electricity tariffs by 18.6% and 20.4% respectively and warned that the prices will continue going up over the next five years due to limited generation capacity in the two countries.

In South Africa, the power utility, Eskom was granted a tariff increase of 27.5% in June after having had submitted an initial request of 53.7%.

In Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Commission (ZERC) has been lobbying the government since 2005 for an upward review of electricity tariff structures, which it says, are too low and are hampering power utility ZESA Holdings' ability to efficiently deliver service, although the bills to consumers increase on a monthly basis due to high inflation.

According to ZERC Commissioner General, Mavis Chidzonga, the control of electricity tariffs by the government has been a major cause of the problem regarding supply of power.

"Electricity tariffs have remained very low and are the lowest in the region. The low tariff structure is a major setback in the smooth running of our operations," she said.

RERA added that high electricity charges could have beneficial effects on the demand side by bringing about changes in consumption patterns.

However, they urged energy utility companies in the SADC region such as the Botswana Power Company, Empresa Nacional de Electricidade of Angola, Nampower of Namibia, Zambia Electricity Supply Company of Zambia and Eskom of South Africa to consider the effects of exorbitant electricity tariffs on poor citizens who are already suffering due to escalating prices of food and fuel.

They advised SADC Member States to consider the feasibility of targeted subsidies or differential pricing policies geared at protecting the poor in the region.

"In light of the anticipated high energy tariffs, SADC Member States, should consider targeted subsidies for the poor or different pricing policies geared at protecting the majority of the poor in the region," said RERA in a statement.

In February this year, the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) highlighted that it is important to ensure that consumers in the region have equitable access to electricity at affordable prices, so as to improve their standards of living. However, there is need for Member States to embrace the principle of cost-reflective tariffs, and adopt regulatory principles in their respective countries, which will enhance those tariffs.

According to SAPP, SADC's current installed capacity as of April 2008 is 55,000MW while dependable capacity is 47,000MW indicating a deficit of about 8,000MW without giving cognisance to the requisite 10 percent reserve margin.

However, dependable capacity is sometimes further reduced to 41,000MW against peak demand of more than 42,000MW as the available energy capacity differs, depending on the season and other constraints.

Echoing the same sentiments, Zambia's energy minister Kenneth Konga, who also sits on the SADC Energy Ministers Committee, said the region's economies were growing at an "unparalleled rate" in sectors such as mining, agriculture and tourism, resulting in an unprecedented demand for energy.

- Create an e-mail alert for Southern Africa news
- Create an e-mail alert for Economy - Development news
- Create an e-mail alert for Politics news
- Create an e-mail alert for Society news

    Printable version

On the Afrol News front page now

Rwanda succeeds including citizens in formal financial sector

afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.

Famine warning: "South Sudan is imploding"

afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
Panic in West Africa after Ebola outbreak in Guinea

afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
Ethiopia tightens its already strict anti-gay laws

afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
Ethiopia plans Africa's biggest dam

afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.

front page | news | countries | archive | currencies | news alerts login | about afrol News | contact | advertise | español 

©  afrol News. Reproducing or buying afrol News' articles.

   You can contact us at