Tue. Aug 20th, 2019

Back to our candles and firewood, but Eskom pledges to keep Zimbabwe’s lights on

 

By EWN and News24

 

JOHANNESBURG – Eskom said that it remained open to assisting Zimbabwe with electricity supply because the country is already a customer.

HARARE – There is anger in Zimbabwe over a tough new load-shedding schedule planned for the coming months.

Zimbabwe’s main hydro-power station at Lake Kariba has been hit by falling water levels, and many areas in the country were having to go for up to eight hours a day without power.

Economic commentator Vince Musewe said that these power cuts meant production schedules for struggling companies would not be met.

He said the current power shortages were anticipated and that plans would have been put in place six months ago to import power from neighbouring Mozambique.

Local reports suggested Energy Minister Joram Gumbo would travel to Mozambique to try to agree on a power deal.

Precious Shumba, director of the Harare Residents Trust, said most suburbs in the capital were going for eight hours a day without power.

No Capacity

He said the cuts would hit poor households hard, as they would have to fork out unbudgeted money for candles, paraffin, gas and firewood, all of which were in short supply.

Zimbabweans are grappling with the worst rolling blackouts in three years, with households, businesses and industries, including mines, left without electricity for up to eight hours a day.

It’s been reported that Zimbabwe will make arrangements to increase power imports from Mozambique and South Africa to help stave off load shedding.

Eskom currently supplies Zimbabwe with 50 megawatts of electricity but said it hasn’t been approached to supply any more at this stage.

The utility’s Naresh Singh said that they would help if they could.
“They’re customers of ours and we’ve to deal with them, as we do with others, we’ve to listen to their concerns and to see whether there might be an opportunity for us to be able to assist.

“But we’ll not do that without giving due consideration to our operational capability.”

 

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