The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) says it is engaging the Government to find solutions to the current electricity crisis which threatens industrial productivity.
Domestic and industrial consumers are now going for long hours without electricity outside the normal load-shedding periods.
Last week, the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), which manages the Kariba Dam on behalf of Zimbabwe and Zambia, ordered the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), a subsidiary of ZESA Holdings, from generating electricity at Kariba Dam until at least January next year due to low water levels.
CZI president Kurai Matsheza said local industry was caught “flat-footed,” by the move by ZRA to order the cessation of power generation at Kariba South Power Station. He said:
It’s a situation we are engaging the authorities on, just to find a common way of coming out of this situation, but unfortunately, there are no quick answers, so we just have to keep negotiating.
We also encourage the Government to speed up whatever accommodation we can have with the Zambian authorities, for example, to be allowed to use their portion of the water in the Zambezi to continue running on our side, or alternatively, they can sell to us the electricity they would have generated.
The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Zhemu Soda, is expected to give a detailed statement on the issue of Zimbabwe’s energy and power supply soon, a Cabinet spokesperson said on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, a new unit at the Hwange Power Station was successfully turned on for the first time last week, raising hopes that the power challenges will soon be alleviated.
The unit is expected to start supplying 300 megawatts to the national grid before the end of this year. | New Ziana