ZAMBIA Consumer Association (ZACA) has urged Government to reduce tax on gas stoves and fridges to enable companies to import and supply such products at affordable price to consumers in the advent of a power deficit.
Zesco Limited has cut down power following the low water levels due to poor rainfall.
“We also urge Government to reduce tax on solar equipment so that companies who import these equipment can also sell them at an affordable price to consumers,” ZACA information officer Juba Sakala said in response to a press query.
Mr Sakala said the tax reduction should be extended to oil marketing companies that import gas stoves to allow more imports into the country.
He said many households have resorted to using charcoal, which has resulted in deforestation.
“[The] use of charcoal has resulted in the indiscriminate cutting of trees, which affects the rainfall pattern in the country,” he said.
Mr Sakala called on Government to constitute a team of engineers to undertake a feasibility study on the construction of a 300 megawatts coal power station to complement hydro-power generation during the electricity deficit period.
The team of experts should comprise officials from Engineering Institute of Zambia, Copperbelt University, University of Zambia, Zambia Development Agency and Zesco.
He suggested that the team be sent to South Africa’s Mpumalanga Province to learn how to set up a coal-powered station.
“We know there is one thermal power station which will be opened soon in Sinazongwe, but it can only produce 300 megawatts. This cannot meet the demand in all corners of the country,” he said.
Recently, President Lungu opened Maamba Collieries, which has constructed a thermal power station in Sinazongwe.