Mozambique Energy: New electricity rate to expand network is making a stir

Mozambicans are gearing up to pay a new electricity tariff, whose amount is not yet known, but which is already being criticised by consumers.

Mozambicans will have to ‘tighten their belts’ even more when the new electricity rate, which is expected to be approved at the end of November by the Council of Ministers, comes in.

The new rate is included in the proposed revision of the Electricity Law, which is currently in the process of public hearing.

The government wants the extra fee to fund the expansion of the electricity grid, so that all Mozambicans have access to energy by 2030, according to Marcelina Joel, director of the Legal Office of the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy.

“Eventually this rate, too, some of it, in addition to addressing the issue of expansion, will address this issue of public lighting. So the addition of this rate is not arbitrary, it’s to respond to a situation that worries us today,” Joel said.

Consumers against a new rate

The electrification rate will be paid by the individual consumers who constitute 90% of the Mozambique Electricity’s clientele. And it is these consumers who feel that they are being singled out.

Alcino Manhiça, a carpenter, complains about having to pay for poor power quality. “First, there is the quality. There are frequent power cuts of energy that have cost us appliances, and I have a meter that cuts out when the current is weak,” he complains.

Quality is poor

Amalia Chiango, a trader, also says that it does not make sense to pay the energy fee because the quality is too poor.

“If someone has a fridge, that person will tend to buy more. It’s not easy to have a freezer or a fridge because of the quality of electricity, products spoil. Even watching TV is hard. And bulbs? You’re better off with candles,” Chiango complains.

But state official Joaquim Carlos says the rates that Mozambicans are paying are due to the public debt.

“There are a number of situations that make life complex. First, due to the public debt issue, which is one of the aspects of this scenario, and also budgetary policies that have to do with wages. All this is having a bad impact on Mozambican society,” he explains.

Only about 30% of Mozambique’s estimated 28 million population has access to electricity.

Source: Deutsche Welle

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