ZIMBABWE will experience increased load shedding in the short-term due to under ground capable faults and reduced imports of electricity as suppliers give priority to their local consumers in winter.
In an interview with businessdigest yesterday, Zesa chief executive officer Ben Rafemoyo said the country will experience increased load shedding in the next two weeks due to a combination of increased demand in winter, reduced imports, faulty underground cables and sub-stations.
“What is worrying is that the meteorological department is predicting that low temperature would persist until mid August. This means the present electricity supply situation would persist,” said Rafemoyo.
Rafemoyo said while the country was at the peak of winter – when demand for power is high – electricity imports had declined as suppliers gave priority to their local consumers before exporting.
“Whoever gives us power is doing so after meeting their local demand. Supply has been declining while the gap between supply and demand is widening,” he said.
Rafemoyo said Harare and Bulawayo have been experiencing “more dark hours” due to cable faults which feed sub-stations.
“Areas currently being affected in Harare are Mabelreign, Mount Pleasant, Highfields, Waterfalls, Marlborough, Avondale, Bluff Hill, Sunridge and Strathaven. This is because of technical faults being experienced at Strathaven sub-station,” said Rafemoyo.
“The fault has also affected other areas in the western suburbs as they are receiving power from other sub-stations whose demand is already high,” he said.
In Bulawayo a cable fault at Steeldale sub-station last week affected Khumalo, Matshemhlope, Belmont, Hillside, Famona, Malindela and Burnside.
“A fault at Forestvale last week which has since been attended to had also affected some areas in Bulawayo,” Rafemoyo said.
Areas that had been affected include Magwegwe, Lobengula, Njube, Entumbane, Emakhandeni, Luveve and Gwabalanda.
Zimbabwe needs about 2 389 megawatts daily but has been generating about 1 700 megawatts leaving “required imports” of 689 megawatts or 28,8%.
Last year internal generation averaged 1 000 megawatts. Rafemoyo said demand for electricity was increasing at an average of 3% annually in the medium to long-term.
“Estimated annual demand growth is around two percent (short-term) and 3 to 3,5%” he said.
Minister for Energy Elias Mudzuri yesterday said Zesa should “immediately notify resident if there is a fault in their area if ratepayers are to have confidence and maintain a good relation with them”.
Meanwhile Mudzuri has announced a new board for the Zesa Holding.
The board is made up of Noah Madziva (Chairperson), former CEO Simbarashe Mangwengwende (Deputy Chairperson), Richard Maasdrop, Francis Chirimuuta, Andrew Nyambayo, Kurt Rietz, Stephen Hazangwi and Gwyneth Ngoma.
Rafemoyo and Zesa corporate secretary Pardon Chakanyuka are also part of the board.
BY PAUL NYAKAZEYA