Yesterday morning’s surprise power cuts that hit the country for several hours saw business losing thousands of dollars in anticipated revenue.
The power blackout was said to have been caused by a fault in Mozambique that in turn had a negative impact on the country’s main power stations, Hwange and Kariba.
Power was only restored around 930am when some companies had already resorted to generators yet others waited, hoping power would be restored as quickly as possible.
Energy and Power Development minister Elton Mangoma said the power cuts were caused a fault on the Mozambican side.
“There was a failure of the interconnector in Mozambique which tripped our system. This is all because of lack of maintenance of our system, which cannot resist shocks when such things happen,” said Mangoma.
“They are busy now trying to get the system up”.
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce president Oswell Binha said continuous power cuts will militate against economic growth.
He said power cuts resulted in involuntary shutdown of factories and additional production costs.
“The power utility should get its priorities right. At the moment Zesa (Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority) is advocating for a tariff increase while its service is deteriorating daily with no repairs or maintenance programmes. We are a bit worried,” said Binha.
He said there was a need to speedily come up with a solution for Zesa as it is a critical service provider that needs an immediate plan.
“There is a need to have appropriate capacity to do maintenance, create and generate more power while looking for other alternative sources of power,” said Binha.
Bankers’ Association of Zimbabwe president John Mushayavanhu said the business sector was greatly affected by continuous power cuts as some are now forced to run business operations on generators .
“We would want electricity to be there all the time as most of our businesses are run on electrical machines and using generators is costing us,” said Mushayavanhu.
Mushayavanhu said Zesa should get its act together for the benefit of the country.
Zesa, through its distribution company — the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company — hiked tariffs by 31% in September.
Captains of industry and consumer bodies roundly condemned the tariff hike arguing they have heard to endure long hours without power.