IPPs must complement Zesa

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ZESA Holdings at the weekend announced the re-introduction of electricity load-shedding lasting a total of 10 hours daily as a result of breakdowns at Hwange and Kariba power stations.

It also said it was not getting adequate electricity imports, mainly from South Africa’s power utility, Eskom, which is also experiencing shortages.

“Zesa Holdings would like to advise its valued customers countrywide of the continued limited power supply on the national electricity grid as a result of technical faults at Hwange and Kariba power stations.

“Load curtailment will continue being exercised during the normal peak (0500hrs to 1000hrs) and evening peak 1600hrs to 2000hrs across the country,” Zesa said in a statement.

Since March when the government decreed a coronavirus national lockdown, Zimbabwe has not experienced power cuts until last week.

Zesa has been doing a great job, providing electricity non-stop.

The current problems cannot be blamed on the power utility.
It is common cause that breakdowns are part of nature as equipment get old or overused.

Our government is optimistic that Zimbabwe will soon be generating enough electricity and will be a net exporter of power. Very optimistic and commendable!

We are of the view that to end intermittent load shedding and be able to export electricity; we need independent power producers (IPPs) to complement Zesa in supplying power.

Several have been licensed, but the majority are yet to come on board and feed the national grid.

IPPs would ensure that there is considerable improvement in power supply and help boost much-needed investor confidence.

The need for consumers to pay their outstanding bills cannot be overemphasised and there should be no sacred cows.

Paying bills will help Zesa carry out its mandate of providing electricity at all times.

The power utility is owed millions of dollars by politicians, industry and commerce — money which can be used to revamp creaky power stations.

Non-payment of bills begs a number of questions. How do those who owe the power utility expect Zesa to get the money for operations if consumers are allowed to use electricity for free?

Will this not send the wrong message to consumers that they can use electricity wantonly and get away with it?

Unless we have independent power producers on stream and consumers pay for power, we will continue to have electricity outages.

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