BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
GOVERNMENT has said the power problems the country has been facing in the past months have been a result of heavy rains that are damaging electrical systems and cables, leading to power blackouts.
Energy deputy minister Magna Mudyiwa told Parliament that the country has been experiencing load-shedding due to the heavy rains accompanied by thunder and lightning, resulting in damage to electrical systems.
“Of late, we have been having a lot of challenges in terms of supplying electricity due to a number of reasons — the heavy rains which resulted in a number of electricity lines being affected,” Mudyiwa said.
“Vandalism is another cause for the depleted generation of electricity. Of late, we had the damage at Hwange which happened at the power station.”
Mudyiwa said government was working towards improving the country’s power generation.
“First of all, we are working on repairing the damaged unit at Hwange,” she said.
She said since last year, they were operating with three to four units with the rest being down because of ageing and numerous other problems.
“Government is trying to repair those units and make sure that we restore generation of electricity,” she said.
Mudyiwa said government last year commissioned a number of transformers which were being distributed countrywide.
More transformers, she added, were expected to be delivered in the country in the next few months.
Mudyiwa said Zesa was working flat out to repair the affected power lines, but was facing transport challenges.
“Zesa was working with a few vehicles for quite some time because they had no funds to buy new vehicles,” Mudyiwa said.
“Last year, we commissioned new vehicles in the form of lorries to ease the situation, but they were not enough and we still have a shortage to enable them to attend to breakdowns,” she added.
“We have limited manpower to do the work, especially pertaining to the issue of poles such that they end up employing contract workers, particularly during the rainy season where we have a lot of poles falling.”
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