WATER TARIFFS INCREASE 

There will be a three percent (3%) increase for all water customers and zero percent increase in sewerage services tariffs for 2019 / 2020 starting in August 01.

The Chairperson of the Lesotho Electricity and Water Authority (LEWA) Board, Mr. Relebohile Mosito said this when addressing the media at the press briefing held on Friday. He said the decision was reached at the Board meeting, saying for Band A customer who currently pays a monthly bill of M26.90 will pay M27.65 per month.

He said the standing charge has increased by 4.7 per cent for all customers categories except for Band A, adding that the standing charge for Band A domestic customer category who consumes between 0 to 5,000 litres per month has been stopped hence remains at M0.00 as opposed to the proposed M10.00.

He said Water and Sewerage Company (WASCO) is allowed a Revenue requirement of M212.64 million for water production and distribution business as opposed to 264.25 million proposed by the company. He added that sewerage revenue requirement is allowed at M34.61 million as proposed by WASCO.

”Other charges like connection fees remain unchanged and the new tariffs will be effective from August 01, this year,” he said.

Mr. Mosito noted that based on the facts and evidence presented to the authority by both the company and the public, the Board found the submitted justification for WASCO’s application inadequate as thus took into consideration that in order for the company to finance its proposed budget of M246.25 million for water production and distribution, volumetric tariffs and standing charges needed to increase by 18.24 percent and 7. 21 percent respectively.

He commented that WASCO needs to devote its efforts to reducing non-revenue water from the current level which is above 40.2 percent to a set 28 percent target, saying this will assist the utility in reducing its production costs and to realise increased sales.

He further mentioned that WASCO also need to improve its collection efficiency to at least above 90 percent in order for the company to cover its operation and maintenance costs from its billing.

“WASCO should develop and implement an energy efficiency management program especially for Metolong treatment plant so as to reduce its energy costs. It needs to take advantage of abundant water from Metolong and expand its customer base and benefit from the already existing economies of scale.” he said.

Again, Mr. Mosito said access to sewerage services is below 10 percent and effective strategies are needed to connect more customers to the already existing sewerage infrastructure in Maseru.

Also speaking was the WASCO Manager Strategic Services, Mr. Pefole Pefole who expressed his company’s appreciation over the Board’s decision, saying the company requested the adjustment based on reasons to improve services as well as to expand access to water while at the same time manage water that is being wasted.

WASCO submitted a tariff adjustment application of 8.5 percent increase for both volumetric and standing charges for domestic and non-domestic customers and re-introduction of standing charge for Band A of M10.00 on April 16, this year. It also cited other tariff application key factors in the application as manpower, power chemical usage, transport, depreciation and maintenance costs.

Source: LENA 19/07/2019