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.

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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.

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“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.

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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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