* This is due to the non-availability of materials at ESCOM
* The connection fee of K93,200 paid by an individual customer
* Which is a contribution towards the average cost of K365,000
* ESCOM is facing challenges in raising its contribution of K271,800 per connection
By Duncan Mlanjira
Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) is now allowing customers who are willing and can afford to procure materials required for swift single phase connection after meeting all terms and conditions.
In a communique which has been released today, Tuesday, March 22, ESCOM says it “acknowledges the fact that there are a number of customers who paid for new service connections and are still waiting for a service due to non-availability of materials”.
ESCOM further informs the general public that the connection fee of K93,200 paid by an individual customer is a contribution towards the average cost of K365,000 per connection.
“The non-availability of materials is mainly attributed to the challenges that ESCOM is facing in raising its contribution of K271,800 per connection.
“ESCOM does not provide a refund for the K93,200 paid by an individual customer considering that the sum is lower than the actual average cost of K365,000 for a new connection.
“The process of procuring materials by ESCOM has been slow over the past years but is now progressing well. Customers who are not ready to buy their own materials will be provided with a connection in due course.”
ESCOM emphasises that “this arrangement is not compulsory”, saying the “arrangement for customers to buy materials and even use ESCOM pre-qualified contractors remains an option to those who are willing and can afford to procure materials for a quick connection”.
For more information, the public is encouraged to contact the following officers:
* Southern Region: Bubu Mkandawire (0885 983 820 or email@example.com);
* Central Region: Andrew Selemani (0885 975 791 or firstname.lastname@example.org);
* Northern Region: Albert Langisi (0885 913 550 email@example.com).
On a social media page on which the communique was shared, an individual attested to the efficiency of this arrangement, saying it is a quick and convenient approach he undertook to his great satisfaction.
He said in less than 3 days after completing all wiring having bought all required materials for connection, “ESCOM said ‘let there be lights’”.
He attested that the materials included poles — in his case — two — to the heavy voltage tapping wires, adding that the recommended materials are quite a lot that can be bought from several approved suppliers currently available.
He also added that the nearer to a house already connected to a pole, the better the cost.
An ESCOM employee said a customer is advised the sort of materials to buy when after they have applied successfully for a new connection and such materials depend on the nature of the works and location in terms of how close ESCOM’s other structures such transformers and nearest poles are.