Of course, Christmas is a time for giving. But that really shouldn’t be the case when there’s nothing left to give. Zimbabwe’s Energy Minister Fortune Chasi has revealed that Eskom are continuing to supply the country with electricity, despite entering into an unprecedented round of load shedding this week.
How much power is Eskom sending Zimbabwe?
In what has to be the energy equivalent of getting a round of drinks in when your card has already been declined twice, South Africa’s power provider is still funnelling 300 MW of electricity into Zimbabwe. Despite load shedding on our own turf, the neighbours to the north are receiving an “uniterrupted supply”.
According to Chasi, the terms of $2 million-per-month deal remain in place with Eskom. That means that vital resources continue to be dished out, during a time when we need every last Watt to keep the lights on. The Zanu-PF representative made the following statement, as Zimbabwe itself continues with power cuts:
“Should there be challenges, I have no doubt that South Africa will communicate that – to say that they are unable. As of now we have not received such communication. We are continuing to receive power in accordance with the undertakings that we made in our contract with them.”
Stick it on the bill
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa Holdings) owes Eskom R322 million – between $21 – $22 million – in outstanding payments. Recent political and economic challenges have seen Eskom bail out a neighbour.
Pravin Gordhan revealed in Parliament that a total of R632 million is owed to the firm from foreign governments across Africa, with Zimbabwe owing the majority. However, he also suggested that an immediate recall of these funds wouldn’t immediately solve Eskom’s problems – the total is about 0.15% of their R450 billion debt-hole.
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. Eskom has surplus off-peak power for export, but has resorted to load-shedding in South Africa during peak periods-Herald pic.twitter.com/JHdMMXhWsj
— Vaera Ngwena (@VaeraNgwena) December 11, 2019