Harare, Zimbabwe — 16 March 2012 – Load-shedding has become intense in Zimbabwe because of depressed electricity generation at Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) power stations, as well as diminishing capacity to import from other countries in the region.
In an article here, allAfrica.com quotes daily newspaper “The Herald” as saying that due to the increased load-shedding, some areas are going for as long as up to 15 hours without electricity.
ZESA announced the increased load shedding in a statement earlier this week, but did not specify which of its power stations was having problems with electricity generation. The company did not also give details on how its capacity to import had diminished.
Recently, Mozambique threatened to switch off Zimbabwe over a US$5 million debt. Hydro Cahora Basa of Mozambique supplies Zimbabwe with about 500 megawatts (MW) to cover shortfalls.
ZESA has capacity to generate between 900 and 1,200MW against a national demand of 19,900 to 2,200MW. The shortfall is being covered by electricity imports from Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“ZESA Holdings would like to advise all its valued customers countrywide that there is an increase in load-shedding outside the publicised schedules due to depressed local generation. The situation is being further compounded by depressed capacity to import power from the region,” a statement said.
“In the meantime, all efforts are being put to alleviate the situation. Consumers are therefore urged to use the available electricity very sparingly to mimimise the effects of load shedding," Zesa said in the statement.
Efforts to get details from ZESA spokesperson Fullard Gwasira were futile because he was waiting for clearance from his bosses before he could respond to questions. Consumers queried why ZESA sent them high bills when they were spending long periods without power.
“How do they end up with these bills when electricity is not there?” asked Roy Makoni of Mufakose. “To worsen the situation, they don’t have an efficient billing system and they don’t capture payments on time. It simply means that we are being punished for their shortcomings.”
Source: “The Herald”, through allAfrica.com. For further details click here.