Zimbabwe’s electrical power needs have been catered for by one parastatal, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) ever since the attainment of independence in 1980, yet the latter has failed to consistently meet demand.
Power Network Projects (PNP) business development manager, Alois Matarangwanda said although Zesa is “warming up” to new players in the power sector, more needed to be done in terms of reviewing power legislation.
PNP, which specialises in high voltage switchgear maintenance and substation construction, has serviced electrical infrastructure for a number of renowned companies and mines in the country.
Last year, the company, which recorded an annual turnover of US$1 million, serviced and constructed power lines throughout the country.
It is currently negotiating with companies in Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia, Uganda and Sudan to expand its market.
“We need legislation that will liberalise the power sector for independent new players to create downstream efficiencies and competitiveness in terms of service provision and charges,” Matarangwanda said.
“What we basically need is an enabling environment that will open up more opportunities for the private sector to sufficiently cater for the country’s power demand.”
Zimbabwe’s power sector is in dire need of recapitalisation, as the current 2 200 megawatts being generated falls short of the country’s industrial and residential needs.
Zesa’s maintenance backlog and inadequate investment in power generation, transmission and distribution has only served to exacerbate the prevailing electricity load shedding.
Zesa defends load-shedding
Fullard Gwasira, the Zesa spokesman was last week defended the power utility’s new load shedding programme that has seen most households now going without electricity almost every day.
“The winter period has always been a challenging period as demand begins to peak,” he said.
“Zesa will continue to follow a planned load shedding schedulethat caters for clients’ needs while allowing industry to operate viably.”
Gwasira said sections of the industry that have applied for uninterrupted power supplies, at an additional cost will be ring fenced and will not be affected by the exercise.