Cheers as Zesa clears Eskom debt

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©️  THE government has cleared its US$33 million debt owed to South Africa’s Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd, raising the country’s opportunities to negotiate for additional supplies, an official has said.
This comes as the Zesa Holdings (Zesa) was struggling to settle arrears it owes power producers in South Africa and Mozambique.
Outgoing Eskom spokesperson Dikatso Mothae confirmed the development to the Daily News.
“Yes, Zimbabwe has finished paying off its debt,” she said.
Energy and Power Development minister Fortune Chasi took to Twitter to announce the payment.
“Hard to believe but Eskom has, in fact now been paid off. Eskom was paid the last US$890 000,00 for imports during this week. This means Zesa can now negotiate for additional supplies if available. Attention now turns to HCB (Mozambique),” Chasi wrote on Twitter.
Zimbabwe owed the power utility a US$33 million debt, and as a result South Africa cut off power supplied to Zimbabwe, forcing the latter to implement debilitating power cuts in 2019.
The two countries eventually agreed on a payment plan whereby Zimbabwe was obliged to pay US$890 000 every week to clear the debt as well as secure limited power supplies. The government has been paying the debt since June last year.
Zimbabwe is reliant on imports from SA and Mozambique to augment power supplies.
Power cuts can last up to 18 hours daily after a drought reduced Lake Kariba’s water levels and as frequent plant breakdowns occur at the thermal power station in Hwange.
The country owes HCB (Mozambique) a total some of US$35 million and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) pledged to release US$10 million to pay part of the debt.
However, the country’s electricity supply has improved in the past month with consumers confirming the reduction in the power outages.
Last month, the Zimbabwe Power Company indicated that existing power stations were generating a combined 694MW, slightly above previous months, with Kariba Hydro and Hwange Power Stations increasing production.

 

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