Zimbabwe-Eskom deal still on

South African power utility, Eskom, is still supplying Zimbabwe with 300MW outside peak hours under a US$2 million a month deal with Zesa Holdings, Cabinet heard yesterday. Eskom has surplus off-peak power for export, but has resorted to load-shedding in South Africa during peak periods, as it noted in a statement on Sunday.

The Zimbabwe deal covers off-peak supply and is not affected by the Eskom statement.

A statement issued by Zesa on the same day that load-shedding in Zimbabwe was now being implemented at Stage 2 raised fears in some sectors that power imports from South Africa had been reduced.

Energy and Power Development Minister Fortune Chasi yesterday told the 44th Cabinet Meeting Decisions Matrix media briefing that the contract still subsists, despite the challenges being faced by Eskom.

“Although the South Africans are facing challenges in the power sector, they have continued to supply us with power,” Minister Chasi said.

“But in our planning, we have taken the position as Government that we should diversify our sources of power even from an importation point of view.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa addresses the media in the company of Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza (extreme left), Energy and Power Development Minister Fortune Chasi and the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda (far right) at a post-Cabinet briefing in Harare yesterday. – Picture: Believe Nyakudjara

“So we are safe and sound at the moment, but we are doing everything we can so that we achieve our energy security in Zimbabwe.

“Should there be challenges in that area, I am sure our South African brothers and sisters will communicate that to us that they are unable (to continue supplying power), but as of now we have not received such communication and we are continuing to receive power in terms of the undertakings that were made in our contract with them.”

Zesa Holdings said its statement on Sunday did not refer to the Eskom deal.

“The statement from Zesa does not in any manner refer or relate to Eskom,” Zesa Holdings spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira said.

Meanwhile, Cabinet has warned fuel stations that continue to divert petrol and diesel to the black market that they will be fined and risk losing their licences.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said during the post-Cabinet briefing: “Cabinet noted with concern that although the daily average diesel and petrol uplifts for the past week had increased compared to the previous week, fuel queues continue to be visible.