Zesa’s systems were overloaded yesterday because there was some confusion surrounding the Lifeline Charge.
What is the Lifeline Charge?
“ZETDC further advises customers that the lifeline tariff is enjoyed once a month when they make the first token purchase of units ANY DAY during any calendar month, therefore it is not true that electricity is cheaper when purchases are done within the first five days of the month.”ZETDC Official Statement
The Lifeline Charge covers the FIRST 50 Units purchased at ANYTIME during the month. This a way of ensuring that those less privileged will have electricity, because 50 Units are enough (according to ZESA) to cover a 2 plate stove and lights.
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This stampede for tokens overwhelmed ZESA and some people were left stranded with no electricity because no purchase platform was able to get through the sea of requests.
The Charges for Domestic Meters that affect March 2020 onwards are as follows: (full ZESA price list as of March 2020)
A Fixed Charge of ZWL7.24
The 50 kWh of the FIRST Purchase of a new month are – ZWL$0.49 per unit
51 – 200 kWh are priced at -ZWL$1.08 per unit
Balance of ZWL$4.61 per kWh over 200
This stepped system is all in an effort to ensure that those who use power conservatively will pay less for electricity and those who exceed the 200 kWh for domestic use will pay a premium.
We should endeavour to save power where we can, in order to stop repeated purchases that increase the cost of electricity.