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Potraz blocks US$ tariff increases

by Staff reporte
30 Oct 2023 at 05:21hrs | Views
The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) has prohibited mobile service providers from adjusting tariffs in United States dollars (USD). 
Potraz, which recently approved new tariff thresholds in the local currency due to the depreciation of the Zimbabwean dollar (Zimdollar), has stated that the USD remains stable. The directive stipulates that any service providers who adjust their USD-denominated service packages will be fined. These new tariff thresholds apply to services denominated in Zimdollar, the currency to which all telecommunication service tariffs are linked.
According to Potraz, the recent review of tariff thresholds for telecommunication services was prompted by the significant depreciation of the Zimdollar against the USD. The exchange rate went from 1:684.33 in December 2022 to 1:5,739.80 in June 2023, representing a 738.75% depreciation. The tariff increase faced public criticism for making data charges unaffordable. Potraz director-general Gift Machengete defended the tariffs, stating that Zimbabwe has the lowest data tariff in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, with an out-of-bundle tariff of ZWL$14,930, equivalent to USD$3.21 per gigabyte (GB) at the official September 2023 exchange rate, while the SADC average is USD$4.60 per GB.

Machengete encouraged the public to seek clarification from Potraz if they have any doubts. This move is aimed at maintaining control over tariffs and ensuring that the Zimdollar remains the basis for telecommunications services in Zimbabwe.

Source - newsday