Southern Africa: Chasi - Zim Power Imports Not Yet Affected By Eskom Crisis

Energy and Power Development Minister Fortune Chasi follows proceedings at a post-Cabinet briefing in Harare on December 10, 2019.
11 December 2019

ZIMBABWE's power supply situation has not yet been affected by an ongoing electricity crisis that has hit South Africa's power generator, Eskom, a key supplier of the critical resource to the troubled country.

The crisis in the neighbouring country has heightened fears this could have negative effects on Zimbabwe.

But speaking at a post-cabinet media briefing Tuesday, Energy Minister Fortune Chasi said power imports from South Africa have continued uninterrupted.

"Although the South Africans are facing challenges in the electricity sector, they continue to supply us with power.

"We have taken the position as government that we should diversify our sources of power from an importation point of view.

"We are safe and sound at the moment, but we are doing everything we can to ensure that we achieve energy security in Zimbabwe.

"Should there be challenges, I have no doubt our South African sisters and brothers will communicate that they are unable but as of now, we continue to receive power in accordance with undertakings we made in our contract with them."

Massive flooding across South Africa have seen Eskom switch 6 000MW off the national grid.

Some of South Africa's mining giants have temporarily shut down operations while President Cyril Ramaphosa has been forced to cut short his state visit to Egypt to address the worsening matter.

Eskom has a contract with Zesa for the supply of 400MW of power at US$890 000 per week.

On Zimbabwe's own power generation capacity, Chasi said not much could be read into recent rains experienced within the country adding everyone should pray for more rains if the crisis that has lasted for the greater part of the year is to go.

Zimbabwe was forced into tighter load shedding when water levels at Kariba Dam, a key resource in the generation of the resource, dropped significantly due to poor rainfall in recent years.

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