Zambia directs state power firm to take cost-cutting measures
LUSAKA (Reuters) - Zambia's Zesco Ltd should freeze staff hiring, merge some of its departments and take other steps to cut costs and make the state power utility more efficient, a government body said.
The government said in November it had started implementing measures to transform Zesco, which does not have enough capacity to meet the African nation's power demand.
The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which oversees state-owned enterprises, said on Wednesday that Zesco should quickly implement measures to turn the company around.
Zesco Ltd should suspend the employment of new staff, freeze all vacant positions and abolish or merge some of the company's functions or departments, it said.
"In addition, IDC expects a comprehensive review and restructuring of conditions of service particularly for those in management such as travel on company business," it said.
IDC also said Zesco should suspend any investments in projects or programmes not directly aligned to the efficient and effective delivery of electricity.
IDC said Zesco Ltd should take a lead in encouraging power generation through renewable energy sources to help Zambia plug its 300 megawatt (MW) power deficit.
(Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by Edmund Blair)
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