HomeLocal NewsBlackout hits Bulawayo city centre

Blackout hits Bulawayo city centre

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The Bulawayo city centre and some sections of the Belmont industrial area Wednesday went for close to six hours without electricity following a cable fault at one of Zesa’s substations.

The six-hour outage stretched from 7:30 am to 1:30pm, disrupting business throughout the city.
Most shops without generators resorted to candles, just to get light, but lost business in the process.

Zesa spokesperson Fullard Gwasira told NewsDay the outage was a result of a cable fault.

“It was a cable fault at the Zesa substation in the Belmont area. It primarily affected the CBD (central business district) and a few surrounding areas,” he said.

“The fault occurred at around 7:30am and our technicians only managed to fix the problem around lunchtime.”

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries Matabeleland chapter president Ruth Labode said Zesa owed the Bulawayo community a convincing explanation for the power cut.

“The blackout seriously affected business operations,” she said.

“I have just met a pharmacist who has been inquiring on prices of generators as his business was at a standstill. Patients on medical aid felt the pinch as most doctors were demanding cash since they could not use their medical aid cards.”

But Labode said it was too early to quantify revenue lost although she expected it to be substantial.

The blackout could have sent a negative message to a South African business delegation that was in the city to explore business opportunities with locals.

The trade delegation consists of players in infrastructure, information and communication technology, manufacturing agro-processing and mining sectors.

Small to medium traders at various shopping malls were counting their losses and many expressed bitterness at the power outage.

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