Former cabinet minister and MDC top official, David Coltart said that he has been told by a “reliable” source that the power situation in the country is extremely dire and may even get worse.
Coltart said that though he can not vouch for the authenticity of this information, the source is usually a reliable one. He wrote:
I have just completed an informative meeting with the GM ZETDC Harare. The supply situation is dire. They have only 800MW of capacity available against 1800 MIN demand.
City centres, hospital networks, high rise buildings consume 500, and this leaves 300 to distribute across the rest of the country. Domestic cuts from 0500 to 23.00 will continue. Right now Msasa, Ruwa, Southerton, Granitside, and Workington are all OFF.
There is nothing they can do about this. In addition, they have been consuming 500MW from Kariba against an allocation of 350, meaning they will have to “pay-back” 150MW going forward… this has been because of the huge deficit of power available from other generating sites.
There is only one solution in their minds and that is a realistic tariff that will allow imports and local R&M. In the meantime, I am getting the contacts of engineers responsible for shedding and will be putting them on our group, so that we can at least get up to 30min warning of shedding for continuous manufactures to prepare with Generators etc.
They cannot give more warning than that. When suggesting they switch on only one industrial area for one week, whilst the other 2 stay off and then rotate, they stated they don’t even have power for that, all 5 main industrial sites are off now, and will be tomorrow… and probably going forward until they are able to import.
Unfortunately, things are NOT going to get better anytime soon. We need to motivate for a realistic tariff if we expect continuous supply to industry.
Domestic supply will not be much improved by tariff increases in the short term as much infrastructure needs to be upgraded first. This is just as frustrating for ZETDC and ZESA.. they are doing their best in a crazy situation.