The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube has assured the nation of short-term interventions to ease the power crisis that include bailing out the country’s power utility ZESA Holdings so that power imports can resume from South Africa.
Zimbabwe is undergoing a serious electricity crisis due to generation challenges at both Kariba Hydro Power Station and Hwange Thermal Power Station.
The crisis was worsened after regional power utility companies South Africa’s Eskom and HCB of Mozambique reduced power supplies due to non-payment of debt by government.
Speaking to ZBC News upon his arrival from the US-Africa Business Summit in Mozambique, Minister Ncube said Treasury will immediately provide funds to ZESA Holdings to continue power imports.
“The debt overhang affecting ZESA Holdings culminated into the Eskom and HCB discontinuing electricity supply but as Treasury we are going to bail out the power utility so that it can pay its creditors to resume power imports,” he said.
Professor Ncube added that the summit also afforded government an opportunity to establish ways of increasing cooperation in power generation with Mozambique.
“We held successful talks with our Mozambican counterparts so that we establish how we can increase power imports and also create other synergies,” he added.
It is alleged ZESA Holdings made its last payment for power supplies to Eskom in October last year which triggered the later to cut supplies.
Zimbabwe requires at least 1 450 megawatts at peak but was generating close to 1 000 megawatts before the declining water levels at Kariba reduced generation from 650 megawatts to around 50 megawatts.
Hwange Power Station is being hampered by technical problems as it is now inefficient.