The Zimbabwean government on Monday ruled out tariff increases on electricity as the nation faces its worst power shortages in three years.
The government, instead, said it would try to increase power imports and improve power generation efficiency to alleviate the situation.
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said this while appearing before parliament’s budget and finance portfolio committee.
A legislator had asked if it was sustainable for the power utility to continue charging the same tariff.
The legislator argued that Zimbabwe’s current power tariffs had become the cheapest in the Southern African region.
“Any ill-advised tariff increase to bring it in line with regional levels will trigger another round of price increases and inflation.
“The only strategy to deal with this problem is to increase supply through imports.
“We have to allocate more resources and import more power to supplement local supplies,’’ Mthuli said.
The power utility has previously applied numerous times for a tariff increase without any success.
The country is facing acute power shortages, due to low generation at main power plant Kariba as well as foreign currency shortages, which have forced the power utility to introduce biting load shedding to manage the situation.