Uganda to sanction power distributor

Uganda aims to impose financial penalties from March, on its sole power distributor, Umeme Limited, for any frequent and prolonged supply outages, the regulator said. The public has long complained about high tariffs and long power cuts, while unreliable supplies add extra costs to businesses, which often run costly stand-by generators to keep operations going during outages.

The Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) said in a notice published on its website that it intended to set targets for “reliability and quality” of power supplied by Umeme, which secured a 25-year licence in 2005 to be the sole distributor. It however did not give details of the proposed penalties.

ERA spokesman, Julius Wandera, said the regulator planned to impose the new terms in March, after a public consultation. Umeme is majority owned by the state-controlled pensions fund NSSF, while South African funds including Allan Gray, Kimberlite Frontier Africa Master Fund and Investec Asset Management Africa Fund also have stakes.

Source: THISDAY

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