Electricity key to low import bill, industrial revival

Sifelani Jabangwe
Zimbabwe’s trade deficit has been worsened by a number of things, including importing electricity.

The current electricity imports have increased the general import bill.

We are taking money, which should be used for other economic development activities such as stimulating industrial activity, and using it to buy electricity.

The Hwange expansion project will help stop this. The funds that are being channelled towards importing electricity will then be allocated to other key sectors of the economy.

Adequate power for Zimbabwe means there will be enough power for new projects. This can drive foreign direct investment and create a lot of employment.

When investors are making investment decisions, electricity is a key component that they assess, hence the Hwange extension project is a welcome development as it plays a major part in the revival of industry.

The projected growth of the economy and revival of industries means the country will require more power generation. Therefore, the Hwange project is a positive development that is coming at the right time, when the nation is pushing the economic revival agenda.

However, as industry, we have always said local tariffs are too high compared to those in the region and other competitive markets. That is the reason why as Zimbabwe we are not benefiting from some of our natural resources, which are taken away as raw for processing into finished goods by developed countries that have very low electricity tariffs.

We believe with the various electricity projects that the Government if championing, we will see a downward tariff review so that industry gets to its feet again.

Mr Sifelani Jabangwe is Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president. He spoke to our reporter Norman Muchemwa

 

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