Minister of Industry, Roy Kachale-Banda, visited ESCOM head office at Umoyo House, Blantyre, on Tuesday, September 15 2020, to appreciate how the State-owned corporation can help stimulate the growth of the local industry and contribute to more creation of jobs.
Kachale-Banda held one-on-one discussions with ESCOM Chief Executive Officer, Dr Allexon Chiwaya, and his management team in the boardroom.
The two parties tackled wide ranging issues on procurement of locally manufactured accessories, electricity tariffs and supporting local industries.
Kachale-Banda said he was encouraged by the outcome of the meeting, saying ESCOM attached seriousness to the discussions.
“I came to discuss several matters affecting the Ministry of Industry, mostly to do with issues of electrical poles at Raiply, as well as the electricity connection in some of our SMEs and cooperatives. I also came to discuss issues of materials that are produced here by Malawians that are required by ESCOM but might be imported from other countries,” he said.
“Therefore, we are trying to forge an agreement or an understanding as to what kind of quality that ESCOM requires and if we are able to produce within the country, what is it that we can do together to make sure that the items are procured within Malawi instead of preferring to import from other countries.”
Kachale-Banda, who President Dr Lazarus Chakwera appointed into Cabinet announced on July 8 2020, described the meeting, which lasted for over an hour, as a success
“I was very happy with the discussion and I was very happy that ESCOM took the discussions very seriously, as evidenced by the representation from across the board—from Finance [Department], to Procurement and Generation. It was very fruitful considering that the matters I came to discuss were actually handled with the importance they required,” he said.
During the meeting, Dr Chiwaya made a presentation of ESCOM capacity to supply electricity to Malawi and across the borders and areas that present an opportunity for growth.
ESCOM is a limited liability company established under Companies Act of 1984 with a mandate to procure, transmit and distribute electricity to the country.
Transmission operates the national electricity grid comprising transmission power lines and sub-stations operated at high voltage levels.
Distribution provides interface between ESCOM and its customers.
ESCOM also supplies electricity to some border towns of Milanje, Mandimba, Zobue and Villa Ulongwe in Mozambique, Lundazi and Chama in Zambia.