Power utility Zesa’s debt to South African power generator Eskom now stands at R322million (US$21,76 million), an official has revealed.
South Africa Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordarn told the country’s parliament last week that Zesa was among Eskom’s biggest debtors in the region.
He said Zesa was among the three foreign state-owned power utilities that owe Eskom R632m in outstanding payments. Minister Gordan said Zesa owes Eskom R322m, Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM) owes R221m and Zambian state-owned power company Zesco owes R89m.
In July, Zesa was owing Eskom US$33 million but paid US$10 million, that resulted in the resumption of electricity imports from South Africa.
Zesa had promised to regularly make payments to Eskom in order to keep the power import flowing. The latest revelation comes at a time when Zimbabwe has continued to experience long hours of load shedding.
Local production has remained constrained with reports that Kariba, the country’s hydro power station, might be closed if no significant rains are received.
Hwange Thermal Power Station has also been facing regular breakdowns further crippling power supplies. As on Friday the country was generating 592 megawatts against a generating capacity of 1940Mw.
Meanwhile, Zesa has announced that it will embark on massive disconnections on domestic and commercial customers to receive more than $1,2 billion it is owned.
In a notice, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company, a subsidiary of Zesa, said all defaulting customers who are on the post-paid system will be disconnected.
“ZETDC also advises that it has intensified revenue collection efforts in order to recover the $1,2 billion debt that is locked in defaulting customers to enable the power utility to enhance service delivery. The company said focus will be on commercial customers including hotels, supermarkets, bakeries, shops and restaurants, mining companies, agriculture and domestic customers.”
ZETDC also said it will institute credit control, measures to defaulters who have not made efforts to clear their debts or engage in payment plants.
“The revenue being realised from paying your bills is being utilised to pay for electricity imports, coal for local generation and buy spares for network maintenance, as well as other critical inputs for security of electricity supply.” Sunday News