Water tariffs go up by 8.7 percent

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Bereng Mpaki

THE Lesotho Electricity and Water Authority (LEWA) has approved an 8.7 percent increase in water and sewerage service tariffs which comes into effect on 1 April 2016.

The increase comes after a proposal by the Water and Sewerage Company (WASCO) for LEWA to approve a 13 percent increase for the 2016/17 financial year. LEWA is the regulatory body of water and electricity companies.

The new tariff was announced yesterday at a press conference held in Maseru by LEWA chairperson, Leboli Thamae, who said they had revised WASCO’s 13 percent proposal downwards to 8.7 percent.

He said LEWA had also approved a revenue requirement of M234.2 million instead of the proposed M242.9 million for the 2016/17 financial year.

Mr Thamae said with effect from 1 April 2015, the standing charge for the Band A domestic customer category would be abolished.

Band A category customers consume less than 5 000 litres of water, with Band B customers consuming 5 000 – 10 000 litres, Band C 10 000 – 15 000 litres while Band D consume more than 15 000 litres per month.

This means that, Band A category customers will pay M4.51 per 1 000 litres, Band B – M48.54, Band C – M54.32 while Band D will pay M59.40.

For sewerage service tariffs, domestic customers will now be charged M9.70 for both waterborne and non-waterborne sewerage customer categories.

LEWA Chief Executive Officer Ntoi Rapapa said the decision to hike the tariffs was informed by WASCO’s previous revenue requirements, performance in generating revenue and carrying out its mandate.

“We then conduct outturn adjustments to see how they are likely to perform during the current year. The exercise will give us an idea of how they are likely to perform in the next financial year,” he said.

“We use the information to determine how much revenue WASCO needs and by how much it needs to be increased.”

On her part, WASCO acting CEO Mamathe Makhaola told the Lesotho Times on the side-lines of the press conference the lower than requested tariff hike would force them to revise their plans for the next financial year due to resource constraints.

“With the 13 percent proposal, we had planned to improve our service delivery.

“The improvement of service delivery will go ahead as planned since we are entrusted with the huge task of ensuring that Basotho living in urban areas access clean water at all times,” she said.

“It, however, means we will have to go back to the drawing board and look into our draft budget for programmes that may not need immediate attention and can be removed.”

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