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Water charges go up

Limpho Sello
Maseru

The Lesotho Electricity and Water Authority (LEWA) has approved new water and sewerage service tariffs, which come into effect on May 1.

SX 01The water charge increase ranges from 7.4 percent to 16.5 percent, while sewerage service tariffs go up by 6.2 percent across the board. The new increases were announced at a press conference held in Maseru on Friday by the LEWA chairperson, Francina Moloi.

Moloi said the Water and Sewerage Company (WASCO) had requested a 35 percent increase for both water and sewerage service tariffs for the 2014/15 financial year “to sustain itself as a commercial entity”, which LEWA had, however, turned down following extensive consultation .

Moloi continued: “In its application, WASCO stated that the basis for its tariff review considered issues related to its ability to meet its service obligations and to be profitable, as it had been granted company status.
“The company further stated that power, chemicals, labour, repairs and maintenance were some of its major cost-drivers.”

However, Moloi said after “duly considering the application, written and oral public submissions, facts and evidence provided”, the LEWA board had approved the new tariff increases as follows:
7.4 percent for domestic customers whose consumption was below 5 000 litres a month
12.03 percent for 5000-10000 litres
13.75 percent for 10 000-15 000 litres
16.5 percent for 15 000 litres
16.5 percent for non-domestic customers.
6.2 percent for sewerage services for all customers.

Moloi further announced an increase in public water supply charges.
“The approved tariff for public water standpipes is M5.66, which is an increase from M4.86 per 1000 litres,” Moloi said
She further explained that LEWA approved WASCO’s revenue-requirement of M172.73 million instead of M181.28 million, and M29.36 million instead of M34.39 million for water and sewage services respectively, for 2014.
“The approved revenue requirement shall cover, among other things, the cost of WASCO’s regulated businesses, which are water-production distribution and sewage disposal.
“It will also allow WASCO to improve its operational efficiency by controlling operational expenses and reducing non-revenue water to 26- percent.”
On his part, the WASCO Chief Executive Officer, Mathealira Lerotholi told the Sunday Express after failing to get the requested tariff increase, the company would have to look at its priorities.
“We wanted to improve service-delivery and our infrastructure, which is now very old. However, we are still thankful to LEWA for this increase,” Lerotholi said.

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