Zimbabwe might experience massive load-shedding starting next week if Zesa Holdings fails to settle an outstanding power import bill of $43 million owed to Eskom of South Africa and Hydro Cahora Bassa (HCB) of Mozambique. Eskom supplies Zimbabwe with 300 megawatts, while HCB chips in with 50 megawatts.
The South African power utility has threatened to switch off Zimbabwe if Zesa fails to pay the arrears in eight days.
Zimbabwe consumes about 1 400MW daily against a generating capacity of around 980MW.
Zesa owes the two power giants over $100 million, but the $43 million is emanating from a payment plan it has failed to honour due to foreign currency shortages.
Earlier this year, Zesa made payment plans with regional power utilities and should have paid $89 million between January and April, but it managed to pay only $46 million.
The payment plan included last year’s arrears.
The firms gave Zesa up to May 31 to clear the arrears, but with only eight days to go, the power utility has not paid anything.
Zesa chief executive Engineer Josh Chifamba yesterday confirmed they were still to settle the arrears.
“We are yet to service the debt, but we are making frantic efforts to pay and revert to the original payment plan,” he said.