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Licence Fees for Standby Generators

Harare resident fined ZWL$100,000 for operating “an air polluting appliance (generator) without a licence”

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EMA now demanding license fees from owners of generators.

Zimbabwe’s current electricity crisis has forced businesses and households to resort to alternative sources of power including generators and solar.

However, according to the Environmental Management Authority (EMA), one needs a licence to operate a generator over 5kVA.

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EMA has since ordered a Harare resident to pay a fine of ZWL$100,000 for illegally operating “an air polluting appliance (generator) without a licence”. EMA said the fixed penalty of (ZWL$100,000), is prescribed in terms of Section 64 of the Environmental Management Authority Act.

The authority warned the offender that failure to pay the fixed environmental penalty within 7 days by 20 February 2023, will result in an application by EMA for a warrant of their arrest.

Commenting on the development, the Project Director – Southern Africa at International Crisis Group, Piers Pigou, said this is about income generation and has nothing to do with environmental considerations. He said:

Imagine, you must now pay tax to operate a generator in Zimbabwe over 5kva. Yet, you have to do so because the govt can’t supply power.

This is the “logic’ of a governance culture that is clearly not fit for purpose. Poor Zimbabweans also pay a fee for the radio in their cars.

… Govt fails to deliver a basic service, citizens are forced to make a plan & then govt exploits this with a licensing levy. This is about income generation and has nothing to do with environmental considerations.


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