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MANZINI – There is  high abuse of resources at EEC and until the company stops it; electricity tariffs will continue to increase drastically to the detriment of the consumers.

This is according to a member of the Manzini business and domestic customers of the Eswatini Electricity Company (EEC) and he said it when making submissions during the on-going public engagements with Eswatini Energy Regulatory Authority (ESERA) regarding proposed electricity tariffs hike – 21.31 per cent on average. The meeting was held at Caritas Centre in Manzini yesterday.

The EEC customer, who asked to remain anonymous, said the proposed 26 per cent electricity tariffs hike for domestic customers was not a joke, taking into consideration that salaries on the other hand were stagnant. He added that in as much as they know that from time to time, electricity tariffs should be reviewed, their concerns as customers was that there was high abuse of resources, which he referred to as imiphimbo (throats) that swallow the money in the electricity company.

He said in his area, there is an EEC car that ‘attends a fault’ every morning (on week days) at the same time every day.  He said every time when the car goes back, it would be loaded with pupils at the back and they always wonder as residents as to what kind of a fault that needs to be attended at the exact  same time in the morning. Again, he said the concern was that every time after ‘attending the fault’ the car would come back with school going children.


“That cost goes to the consumers,” he submitted. Once more, the stakeholder said some people who have relatives at EEC, do not even know how much a litre of fuel (petrol/diesel), yet they have cars. He said the reason was that they drain fuel for their cars from the EEC vehicles and again, those costs are footed by the consumers. Furthermore, he said there was an EEC motorbike which came to ‘read a metre’ at one of his neighbours now and then. He said what surprises him was that every time when the motorbike arrived, it would be attended by one and the same young woman. Furthermore which EEC meter still need to be read nowadays.

On top of that, the concerned stakeholder submitted that some people who have relatives who work at EEC, run organisations using the electricity company’s telephones. He said the relative who works at EEC would make calls pertaining to their organisation and further give feedback to his relatives, using the company telephones. “Sivame kubeva batsi, khululeka Mzala, lucingo lwenkapani lukhona, ngitoni updater (feel free, I will use the company telephone and give you feedback,” he submitted. Also, he said even in yesterday’s meeting, he noted in the registry that EEC workers were more than the customers. He said this made him wonder if the workers were trying to boost their Christmas budget or money for school fees by attending the meeting so that they could claim money for working out of office.


“What are some of you doing here (in that meeting) because they should have followed the meeting virtual at their offices?” he wondered.
He said pity was that in as much as the company engages auditors, they do not go on the ground where the abuse of resources takes place, but they only rely on the documents given to them by management. The stakeholder asked EEC what it was doing to monitor its fleet and other resources. He wanted to know what internal controls it has in place to monitor such abuses despite relying on people who would call and report if they see something suspicious.

In response to that, EEC General Manager (GM) Operations, Vusi Gama said they usually work with members of the public in curbing illegal practices like draining fuel from vehicles, abuse of company phones and abuse of company cars. He said they have opened a whistle blowing line; 2409 4666. He said through this telephone line, members of the public could report anything suspicious they see and the company would investigate it, while keeping the caller anonymous. He added that they condemn the abuse of the company cars. He used the example of those who allegedly ferry pupils to school and said if the car could be involved in a road traffic accident, who could be liable for the school gong children because the company only covers its workers.

Regarding the issue of high number of EEC workers who attended the meeting, Gama said they were not there to claim mileage.
He said some of them were representatives from the regions and they were there to get the customers complaints first hand so that when they meet, they would have a clear picture on what their clients want.

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