Zera remits more than $113m in surplus funds
Sikhulekelani Moyo, [email protected]
ZIMBABWE Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) has remitted more than $113 million in surplus funds to the Rural Electrification Fund, a development which will see rural electrification projects moving forward.
The rural electrification programme was initiated in 2002 following the enactment of the Rural Electrification Fund Act (2002).
The major thrust of the Rural Electrification Fund is to ensure that there is equitable distribution of resources in the electrification of rural areas in Zimbabwe.
It is hoped that by electrifying the rural areas, development will be accelerated.
Some of the projects that are anticipated to bring development in the rural areas include irrigation schemes and a number of them have been electrified across the country.
Some of the sectors that have been electrified under this programme include schools, health centres, business centres, Government offices, villages, chiefs’ homesteads, small-scale farms, and mines.
Speaking during a recent REA annual general meeting in Harare, Energy and Power Development Minister Edgar Moyo said through this contribution, Zera is not only providing electricity but also empowering individuals and communities to tap into new possibilities.
He said access to electricity will create opportunities for education, healthcare, economic growth, and overall well-being.
“My ministry saw it essential for Zera to remit surplus funds from the electricity account to the REF in line with Section 31 Energy Regulatory Authority Act,” said Minister Moyo.
“We are witnessing a handover of a cheque for $113 612 416 being Zera surplus for 2022 to the REF.”
He said although the money is not enough in view of the huge financial requirements of REF, he said the gesture shown by Zera is highly commendable.
He said REF is a critical state entity mandated to provide energy infrastructure for rural electrification to transform livelihood of villagers which have been marginalised for many years.
Minister Moyo added that in solar energy development, REF distributed up to 436 mobile solar units for use in public institutions.
On its X (Twitter) handle, Zera said the funds will play a vital role in the efforts to electrify rural areas in Zimbabwe.
“In a significant and generous move, Zera has officially handed over its surplus funds as of December 31, 2022, which were recorded in the electricity account.
“This act of goodwill is aimed at supporting the REF initiatives in Zimbabwe. By extending access to electricity, these initiatives will light up communities that have previously been without this essential resource,” reads the post.
Meanwhile, Zesa Holdings has unveiled an ambitious plan to connect electricity to at least three million rural households over the next four years to buttress the Government’s transformative development drive. — @SikhulekeaniM1