Tanzania power consumers blast TANESCO over unending tariff hikes

Power Transmission 127 November 2013, Dar es Salaam – A cross section of Dar es Salaam residents has condemned consistent tariff hikes by the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO), describing the utility firm as a poor service provider and proposing the entry of private players in power generation and distribution.

The interviewees asked the government to invite private firms to compete with TANESCO the way it is done in the communications sector to ensure sustainable and cost effective power supply as opposed to the current situation in which power charges are going up without any improvement in services.

A vehicle spares shop owner in Kariakoo, Mr Juma Khamis, noted that despite the fact that TANESCO were awarded a 40 per cent tariff increase early this year, electricity supply remained inconsistent, especially in the main business areas where owners resorted to generators.

“This is becoming a little too much on TANESCO part; how sure are we that once the tariff has been granted we will indeed receive uninterrupted power supply? What the government should do is bring in the private sector. Maybe a little competition would do the trick,” Mr Khamis hoped.

Ms Jocelyn Kimario, who owns and operates an African clothes line, said although TANESCO needed the money to operate, the utility company has for some time not been providing uninterrupted power supply to the public.

She explained that the private sector, which also includes small entrepreneurs, rely on consistent power supply for production.

“So with interrupted power, we are not able to reach our targets, hence incur huge losses of money, and now that TANESCO wants to increase prices, how are we even sure they will stick to what they say,” wondered Ms Kimario.

The utility company is seeking to increase the current electricity tariffs of 197.81 per unit to 332.06 per unit, representing an increase of 67.87 per cent.

Early this year, the Energy and Water Regulatory Authority (EWURA) granted the utility company a 40 per cent increase of tariff less than six months of assessment, when it sought to increase the tariffs by 155 per cent.

Retired social scientist, Mr Herman Metili, said TANESCO should stop looking for simple answers for complicated matters, adding more than 40 per cent of electricity is lost due to poor condition of transmission lines should be addressed adequately.

– Tanzania Daily News

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