ZIMBABWE’s State-owned Zesa Holdings could soon escalate electricity cuts after its deficit to South African power provider Eskom Holdings sharply increased to US$100 million.

The debt is said to have accumulated acutely since June 2020 when the last payment of US$10 million was paid. 

The debt has since increased from U$90 million in December a situation that is likely to cripple power supply in the country.

The last payment was done after Eskom threatened to cut power supply unless its debt was paid off. 

Local generation capacity remains critically constrained. An insider who spoke to online publication Zim Morning Post said ZESA has not paid anything to Eskom since the last payment was made in June 2020.

We have not paid anything since June last year due to several reasons and if this continues we are likely to get power cuts from Eskom,” said the insider.

A report given to the Parliament Portfolio Committee on Energy and Power Development last year indicated that the power utility was being owed ZWL 5.6 billion in both local currency and foreign currency hence the sharp increase of its Eskom debt.

Zimbabwe is currently relying on South Africa for electricity as its two local suppliers Kariba Power Station and Hwange Thermal Power Station have not been operating at full capacity and are under refurbishments. However, efforts of refurbishments have been stalled by several factors including a fire which recently gutted the Hwange Thermal Power Station Unit 1. 

Relentless efforts to get a comment from ZESA authorities proved fruitless as their mobile phones were unreachable at the time of writing.

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