Zimbabwe: Capacity Utilisation Drops to 30 Percent - Industry

Industry capacity utilisation in Zimbabwe has plummeted from 50 to around 30 percent as a result of the current electricity crisis, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) has revealed.

Addressing delegates at the on-going 5th edition of the Water, Sanitation and Energy Conference in Bulawayo on Thursday, CZI Matabeleland Chapter President Shepherd Chawira said the current energy crisis in the country has reached crippling levels for industry to continue operating smoothly.

"There is no doubt that energy and water, coupled with other challenges in our economy has put industry in a downward trajectory," Chawira said

"You may want to know that capacity utilisation was last measured at around 48 -50 % at the beginning of the year. We now believe has dropped to around 30%. Agent interventions are needed to keep the country on track towards vision 2030."

Chawira said due to the power cuts, most industries have resorted to the use of diesel which has led to massive cost increases.

"We note an increase in the imports of fuel and not the same for electricity imports.

"We are using diesel imports to power generators as an alternative source of electricity when we feel the same money could be used to import electricity itself instead."

The CZI president blamed ZESA's ballooning debt on some politicians he said were not paying their utility bills.

"Over the years, there are groups of electricity consumers who have accumulated debts with no concrete action towards recovering such debts. This is partly the reason why electricity supply situation to the country has been compromised and this should not be allowed to continue.

"The utility should be supported with real political will to implement proper and credible debt recovery system," he said.

Chawira warned that any new tariff regime adjustment without robust debt management recovery would derail all efforts to address the country's supply system.

"As the new tariff is put in place, it must be supported by debt management measures," he said.

ZESA is planning to review upwards electricity tariffs.

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: New Zimbabwe

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.