South Africa’s power utility Eskom says it is waiting for a bank guarantee of Zesa payments before resuming power supply to Zimbabwe.
Eskom and Zesa agreed on a payment plan to clear the longstanding debt owed by Zimbabwe’s power utility to South Africa’s energy entity.
Under the agreement, Zesa will pay weekly installments of US$890 000 until the arrears are cleared.
Eskom confirmed on Thursday that a contract with Zesa was now in place.
“Eskom can confirm that we have agreed on a payment plan for the outstanding debt and that proof of payment has been received.
“We now have a contract in place and will resume supply the moment the guarantee is presented to us. The guarantee is going through the internal process of the banks.
Eskom said it was open to further discussions to provide more power to Zimbabwe
“Eskom is open for discussions on future power requirements provided the conditions of the current contract are fully met and that we have surplus to sell,” Eskom said.
Zimbabwe has been battling power challenges since October which worsened this Winter as demand escalated.
Eskom and Hydroelectrica de Cahora Bassa of Mozambique, which had been supplying power to Zimbabwe, withheld service owing to non-payment, further worsening the country’s plight.
Zimbabwe requires 1 800MW to meet a winter peak demand, but the country has been able to generate a paltry 750 MW from its Kariba hydro power station and its thermal stations, resulting in massive power cuts.
Zimbabweans are enduring close to 18 hours without electricity, as the country battles its worst power deficit in years.