ESCOM decries ‘glaring cost disparities’ in making new connections

Public utility body, the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) has confessed that it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to offer new connections to customers saying there is a glaring disparity between what the latter pay and the cost the company incurs in making the same.

Wiseman Kabwazi, Senior Manager for Commercial and Customer Services

ESCOM Senior Manager for Commercial and Customer Services, Wiseman Kabwazi, mentioned on Thursday that while connection charges vary in urban and rural areas, consumers pay about K93, 200 to get new connection and yet it costs the firm about K282, 000 to render the service.

“This scenario is contributing to delays in making new electricity in some areas as a result of the financial gaps. The reduction is for single phase connections in which new customers pay for a standard connection fee but ESCOM has to beef up the gap through tariffs,” Kabwazi told journalists in a press briefing.

According to Kabwazi, the idea of charging lower is to make the connection affordable and connect more customers but there have been challenges because the tariff is not adequate enough to fill the financing gap.

“It is that financing gap that has been a major challenge for ESCOM to meet the financing requirements in the connection of a customer and we need to work on it because it is huge for ESCOM to bear,” he said.

But energy expert, Grain Malunga, said if the subsidy was not working, then it needed to be removed unless there is someone to pay for it.

“They should look at their operations as a business and not charity; therefore, whoever brought that subsidy should fund it—otherwise it should be removed from their operations,” Malunga is quoted as saying in the local press.

ESCOM has 45,196 outstanding connection applications from potential customers across the country.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Sharing is caring!

Follow us in Twitter
10 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Junior C.
Junior C.
2 months ago

I am in total agreement with Mr Grain Malunga. How can government subsidize a service when there is no budget allocated for it and no budget available?

Mukhwiri
Mukhwiri
2 months ago

We expect free connections. If Escom has problems let them tell Chilima

Takwalakwa
Takwalakwa
2 months ago

Ife tikudikila connection free. Paja anatilonjeza!

Shaa!
Shaa!
2 months ago

Can ESCOM please provide us a breakdown of and justification for the K282,000 connection cost? Malawians would be surprised to learn that that exorbitant cost is mainly comprised of overpriced imported wooden poles.

One of the reasons for the delays in connecting consumers is that most of them cannot afford to pay the equally exorbitant bribes. A friend of mine has been waiting to be connected for about 8 years; the reason for this long wait is that he simply refuses to grease any palm.

Russie
Russie
2 months ago

Escom must not forget that it’s mandate is to connect as many Malawians to the grid as possible, at any cost. Forget about the profit aspect. It’s a long term investment. Escom is not selling sweets. It’s a service that will take time to pay back. But it will pay back, eventually.

Kachala
Kachala
2 months ago

Ndipo ngati kuli katangale ndie kumeneku, ngati supereka chiphuphu kuti adzakuikire iwala kae, neighbour kukalipira lero chifukwa analindizokwana osatha 3 months adzamuikira, pamene ife pano 2yrs kupita amangoti alibe zipangizo, kodi enawo ndie zawo anagula okha nkukupatsani?

Bryce Maigwa
Bryce Maigwa
2 months ago

Why can’t you allow those who are capable of paying the actual cost to do so? I am sure that if you can challenge people to pay the actual many pay to to you other than paying bribes to your personals.

Oscar Nyasulu
Oscar Nyasulu
2 months ago
Reply to  Bryce Maigwa

You have a point mmene amapangira ku immigration ya express ya pa low. Munthu umachita kusakha

Tilpo
Tilpo
2 months ago

Mr. Kabwazi, no rocket science needed here.

Wilson Nkwanda
Wilson Nkwanda
2 months ago
Reply to  Tilpo

The truth shall set you free. Many people wait for so long without being connected because these people do not have extra money to oil ESCOM officials elsewhere. A good number of people are immediately connected to the grid within a short period of time. Blaming the subsidy is no fair here. We all need power. My brother in marriage applied for power connection three years ago before others made similar applications at Dzaone Trading Centre (Zomba) where he resides with his family. He is a pastor. ESCOM employees come there and connect other people nearby, when he tries to… Read more »

Read previous post:
Malawi Covid-19 admissions drop: Society of Medical Doctors says ‘changes in weather pattern’

Malawi has registered a record drop in Covid-19 admissions across the country, and the Society of Medical Doctors in Malawi...

Close