The Central Electricity Board [CEB], a parastatal body wholly owned by the Government of Mauritius, was set up in 1952 and empowered by the CEB Act 1963 to “prepare and carry out development schemes with the general object of promoting, coordinating and improving the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity” in Mauritius. As many utilities in the world, the CEB has been operating as a natural monopoly in the transmission and distribution of electricity and presently serves approximately 410, 000 customers.
The CEB, in line with its initial mission, has been connecting customers to the grid as a priority without giving a proper focus and care to its applicants and thereby losing track of its service delivery. It should however be pointed out that the activities regarding customer services was handled then by the Transmission and Distribution Department and where the emphasis was always laid on technical aspects of the network. Consequently, this resulted in the a general perception that the organisation was not transparent and that different people had a different level of service. On the whole, customers in vulnerable groups were feeling more victimised and were therefore more affected. Poor customer service was one of those factors that would yield a bad image of the organisation.
Furthermore, increased standard of living on the island, rising prices, increased level of education, radio broadcasting liberalisation, dissemination of public information, and awareness of local people have given rise to increased expectations from customers.
The organisation had to do something about it so as to meet customers’ expectations and recognised that it would have to face threats and challenges in different forms both at national and international level and which would impact both directly and indirectly on its business performance. As pre-emptive measures, the organisation today is auto-regulating its business operating condition so as to emulate a competitive market but at the same time ensuring that its social obligations are also achieved. [321 words]