Zimbabwe domestic power consumers get option to settle bills in foreign currency

FILE PHOTO - Illegal money changers pose while exchanging a new Zimbabwe bond note

Zimbabwe’s power utility ZESA Holdings on Saturday joined the growing list of state entities which are charging for their services in foreign currency.

The generated foreign currency will be used to procure equipment for the utility’s transmission and distribution network.

ZESA’s subsidiary the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) announced that apart from taking payments in local currency, it had also begun accepting payment in foreign currency for its post and pre-paid customers.

“The power utility has introduced a system where all post-paid customers can optionally settle their bills in foreign currency at the prevailing bank rate in line with the multi-currency regime,” a statement from the company’s stakeholder relations unit said.

“The system also allows pre-paid consumers to purchase electricity tokens in foreign currency at the prevailing bank rate, hence availing more transacting options to its valued stakeholders,” said the statement.

The company said it was leveraging on the multi-currency regime to adequately fund its operations, maintain its infrastructure as well as procure spares and equipment to stabilize the electricity network.

“The revenue that will be realized in foreign currency will also be channeled towards the procurement of transformers to grow the network as well as reconnect customers who have been affected by the scourge of theft and vandalism,” the company added.

Prior to extending the system to domestic consumers, the power utility has been billing exporters, mainly the mining industry, in foreign currency.

Local authorities have also given ratepayers an option to settle their bills in foreign currency.