Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu has reversed a sharp increase in electricity tariffs aimed at generating revenue for investment in additional supply.

He said the hike had ended up hurting the poor, a presidential spokesman said on Monday.

Zambia’s state power utility — Zesco Ltd — had on Dec. 3 increased the average price of electricity to 10.35 U.S. cents per kilowatt hour from six U.S. cents.

“The president directed Zesco to revert to the old tariffs until measures are put in place to ensure that poor consumers are protected,” presidential spokesman Amos Chanda said.

Mining companies were unaffected by the increase because they have separate bulk power supply agreements with Zesco and power supplier Copperbelt Energy Corp (CEC).

 


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