A business consultant has hailed the move by ZESA Holdings to license 13 more electricity producers, to see the countryâ€™s national power generation rising to four thousand megawatts.
Herbert Mazonde, a consultant with ValueVest, says the fact the there are 13 more power producers coming onto the scene means supply of electricity
will increase significantly, while demand may remain constant – translating to a marked drop in the cost of power on households and industry.
â€œThe first impact should be a drop in the price. The second is on quality and quantity. Currently, load-shedding and unscheduled power cuts, have negatively impacted on households and industry, but with more producers consumers, in this case industry, will be more assured of supply, means they can do production planning adequately without incurring losses in production and machinery,â€ he said.
â€œThe effective production planning will also translate to an improvement in the final product, which is also affordable.â€
Mazonde also said with more power players, the environment becomes feasible for manufacturing companies to create space for expansion and investment.
He said, â€œCurrently, if you are a manufacturer and you want to expand you are not assured of power. But with more power there is a likelihood of expansion. This attracts investments in agriculture, industry, manufacturing, and enables full-time farming.â€
Commenting on ZESAâ€™s role in licensing the 13 new players, Mazonde said, â€œZESA is both a player and referee. This is unfortunate because there has to be a government policy that separates the two. Either ZESA becomes a licensing authority, or it becomes a player and a separate authority is set up.â€
He said if ZESA is a power player, it remains a competitor and this prevents it from embarking on unfair business practice where it may put in place structures and laws that are not favourable to the other players.
He also said if ZESA remains both a player and referee, it becomes difficult to define ZESAâ€™s performance as a power producer.
The over 4,546 Megawatts power generation should be celebrated but according to Mazonde, a closer look will show that the countryâ€™s electricity woes are not over.
Currently, Zimbabwe requires 2,3ooMW on minimum, but if industry is to increase capacity from 50 to 100%, it means the demand shoots to offset the 4,546 MW and the country is back to square one.
Mazonde hinted that there is need to push for more so that the country will not have to import power. With an adequate generation and supply of electricity, the countryâ€™s foreign currency reserves are freed to other needy areas.