Sidney Makazhe, a businessman, said that alternative forms of service provision needed to de developed. We only have one telecommunications provider, that is the main reason we are facing these problems. There is no competition, he said. The high costs have caused an outcry in the business world, with some complaining that it is impossible to revamp their businesses in the current climate. Small and medium scale enterprises have been the worst effected, according to hair salon owner, Pretty Phiri. We fork out large sums of money to keep our businesses afloat as we have no choice but to pay the rentals, said Phiri.
As a salon owner, Phiri can not afford to have her water or electricity cut as these are major inputs in her business. If there is no water in the salon clients will not be able to get their hair washed and if there is no electricity then it means that our clients will find alternative salons to get their hair done, she said. Phiri said that many business people were hoping that 2010 would be a different year in terms of tariffs with many urging the Ministry of Trade and Commerce to engage service providers and force them to reduce their prices.
We not only have the high cost of the tariffs from the bills that we acquire each month, we also incurred bills from 2008 when all service providers started charging for services in foreign currency. We feel that they started charging exorbitantly so that they could recoup the losses they made when charges were still in Zimbabwean dollars, Phiri said. Business people said that the high bills charged had an adverse effect on production costs. The bills from service providers such as Tel one, ZESA and the BCC are obviously very high and they have affected our operations in a major way, said Makazhe.Post published in: Manufacturing