Power cuts to end by mid-year: Chasi

Business Top Stories Zimbabwe

Takudzwa Chihambakwe

Energy and power development minister, Fortune Chasi says the power situation in the country has improved significantly over the past few months.

In an exclusive interview with ZTN, minister Chasi said if everything goes according to plan, by winter, load shedding will be a thing of the past.

“The improvement we have seen over the past few weeks nationwide regarding the supply of electricity is due to our discipline in paying our debts to our suppliers,” said the minister.

“We have been making our weekly payments to Eskom religiously and they have gained confidence in us and they are readily supplying us with power.”

He added that local power production has also improved.

“As you know, there has been some work at Hwange thermal power station and this has been progressing smoothly. We expect the project to be completed soon.

“However, there might be some delays due to the Coronavirus which has discouraged some of the Chinese staff who were involved in the project from travelling to Zimbabwe.

“Above all we are confident that things will work out and by winter load shedding will be a thing of the past in the country,” he revealed.

Zimbabwe has been grappling with power cuts for the past decade, with the situation becoming worse in 2019 as citizens went for 18 hours on a daily basis without electricity in some instances.

The country’s power crisis was worsened by low water levels at Kariba dam due to poor rainfall received last year, coupled with recurrent faults at Hwange thermal power station.

Zimbabwe has also invested in alternative power sources which are expected to augment electricity supply.

“We have seen some great innovations in the green energy sector and some of the independent power producers are already supplying power to citizens. This will also improve supply of electricity in the country,” Minister Chasi said.