July 2, 2019

Eskom confirms ZESA payment

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… says talks on-going for mutually-beneficial solution

ZTN Correspondents

SOUTH Africa’s electricity public utility, Eskom, has confirmed receiving a US$10 million payment for debt owed by its Zimbabwean counterpart, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority.

In emailed responses to ZTN, Eskom confirmed receipt of part of Zesa’s US$33 million debt.

“Eskom confirms that the payment made by Zimbabwe is reflecting in its account today.

“Discussions will continue with ZESA to find a mutually beneficial solution to the outstanding debt. Eskom is a commercial operation and will be guided by the contracts we have in place with ZESA,” the South African power utility said.

The development was also confirmed in cabinet late this afternoon.

This comes as Energy and Power Development Minister Fortune Chasi was forced to put the proof of the country’s payment to Eskom on his Twitter account on the back of a public backlash.

Two weeks ago, Minister Chasi said Zimbabwe would pay a US$10 million debt to the South African power utility to ease power shortages.

Yet by Friday last week the money had not yet reflected in Eskom’s account, prompting the utility’s Chief Executive, Phakamani Hadebe, to issue a statement saying the power utility was yet to receive the money.

Zimbabwe is battling electricity shortages following a sharp decline in water levels at Kariba Dam due to erratic rains in the 2018-19 rainfall season, and generation constraints at Hwange Power Station because of aging equipment.

This has resulted in massive load shedding, which lasts up to 10 hours especially for residential customers.

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