Acting Chief Executive Officer of Zimbabwe’s power utility, ZESA, yesterday confirmed that they require at least US$14m a month to meet its 600MW power deficit. Zimbabwe has had to start implementing rotational load shedding in May, due to a combination of low water levels at Kariba Dam’s hydroelectric power plant, generation constraints at ageing power stations and limited foreign imports.
According to authorities in Zimbabwe, the country should have had power cuts long before the current deficit but relied on the central bank for bail outs.
ZESA owes Eskom quite a bit of money and they have been able to pay US$10m last week to reduce that debt. This was confirmed by Eskom, the total amount of the debt set to be around US$33m . There has been discussions between Eskom and Zesa, with a view to find a mutually beneficial solution to the outstanding debt. This comes on the back of Zesa still requiring Eskom to assist in their power needs.
President of South Africa, has also weighed in with some thoughts around the situation between Eskom and ZESA. President Cyril Ramaphosa said he will discuss Zimbabwe’s energy woes with Eskom, in addition saying that boosting the supply of electricity to SA’s northern neighbour requires a “balancing act”.
“They [Zimbabwe] have been going through a massive drought and as a result they need energy and obviously they would like South Africa to support. President Mnangagwa requested for further support and this is the type of thing that we are going to discuss with Eskom,” he said.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, was speaking at the 12th Extraordinary Summit on the Continental Free Trade Area in Niger, this after discussions he has had with Zimbabwean counterpart, President Emmerson Mnangagwa.