Sukoluhle Ndlovu Midlands Correspondent
LOCAL authorities owe close to 70 percent of the more than $1 billion consumer debts to the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), an official said.
Addressing delegates attending the ZETDC Southern and Western regions 2019 energy management symposium recently, ZETDC commercial director Engineer Ralph Katsande said:
“We are owed just over $1 billion and the largest debtors are local authorities mostly through water pumping, treatment, sewer and other essential services. This is followed by domestic debt at around $300 million, which we are recovering through (the) prepaid platform”.
Eng Katsande said they had given businesses six month to clear their debts and were also engaging customers in key management to encourage them to pay.
“We have also gone the root of litigation where customers are in arrears and are not complying sometimes we have to disconnect supply,” he said.
“We have also engaged debt collectors across the country to assist us recover the debt. We have also gone to the extent of blacklisting those defaulters with credit bureau agencies.”
Eng Katsande said the strategies they are employing to recover debt were paying off.
“There are cases when we offset the debts for example when we owe councils water or other utilities. Our success rate is limited and we have actually stepped up the effort. The media release we had last month was encouraging customers to come forward and settle their debts.
“Some of them we have allowed to continue operating as long as they pay the current bill and a portion of the arrears towards retiring the debt because we don’t want the debt to continue increasing,” he said..