Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) spokesperson Kitty Chingota says the delay to connect power to some customers in Nkhata Bay is due to the parastatal’s economic struggles.
Last month, concerned citizens in the district petitioned the council to explain why Escom was delaying to connect power to applicants after paying for connection fee.
Chingota said in an interview on Wednesday: “Basically, what customers pay is a contribution fee that does not cover the full cost to get connected. Escom is required to source additional funds to top up on the customers’ contribution to meet full cost of connection.
“Therefore, Escom asks customers who are not willing to wait for them to buy own materials.”
She also said Namagetsi Charge of K80 000 is a standard capital contribution charged to single phase customers who are within the connection range of a service transformer in urban, peri-urban and major rural centres with more than 250 customers.
Said Chingota: “The current charge per connection is K80 000 before value added tax [VAT] and K93 200 VAT inclusive.
“However, the average connection cost in urban areas is estimated at K361 576 while in peri-urban areas it is K240 915 and the utility subsidises the balance of the connection fee.”
Residents in Nkhata Bay claim Escom takes up to two years to connect power despite paying their Namagetsi fee.
A resident Dan Kalua said he paid his connection fee in 2019 but Escom is yet to connect power to his house.