THE government has issued a six-month ultimatum to the state power utility firm—Tanesco to ensure all houses in Dodoma’s Central Business District and its surrounding communities are connected to the state power grid.
Energy Minister Dr Medard Kalemani issued the government directive here on Saturday, tasking Tanesco to be more proactive, innovative and increase its speed to reach a large network.
Official figures from the Tanzania National Electric Supply Company in Dodoma Region show the number of households with electricity connection doubled from 65,766 customers in 2016 to 138,000 customers in 2021.
“There are so many structures and houses which have not been connected to the state power supply... I am giving you six months to ensure all buildings in Dodoma are electrified,” he said, insisting that a door-to-door verification will be conducted on June 30.
This means Tanesco will need to knock on every door that has not been connected instead of waiting for customers to apply for the service. Dr Kalemani said the recent completion of expansion work at the Zuzu power station makes an excess of over 272 megawatts of power in the city.
Dr Kalemani believes the 130,000 customers currently linked to the power supply is insufficient and wanted a new approach to ensure more customers are connected.
“This should extend to other regions apart from Dodoma,” he said.
So far more than 12,000 customers have applied for new electricity connections, but unfortunately Tanesco has been giving excuses, ranging from control number network issues to lack of means of transport to facilitate surveyors.
The Minister said Tanesco will have until the end of next month to ensure all surveyors are given motorcycles. He also demanded the state power utility firm to fix power interruptions across the country.
Official records indicate that the government had reduced power interruption from 27 per cent in 2015 to 5 per cent in 2020.
Tanzania Union of Industrial and Commercial Workers (Tuico-Tanesco) Chairman, Mr Ramadhani Ramadhani complained to the minister that the firm is facing serious workforce challenge and most workers are not permanent employees.
He said the firm is also affected with lack of sufficient means of transport, detailing that vehicle maintenance, for instance, has been taking time thus slowing operation works.
“We have Specific Temporary Employees (STEs) who have been working for years without being employed, we suggest that the government provide contracts to this special group,” he said.