GOVERNMENT yesterday warned of more power cuts due to the increase in the demand for electricity during the winter season.
The country is already facing a power deficit, while the power utility Zesa is owed billions in unpaid debts by citizens, State-owned parastatals and enterprises, government departments and local authorities.
Addressing a post-Cabinet media briefing yesterday, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said: “Cabinet noted with pleasure that there is an increase in economic activities, especially agriculture, the mining sector as well as the manufacturing sector. Consumers who use above a certain threshold will be charged higher tariffs.” Mutsvangwa said people should make use of renewable energy as an alternative to electricity.
Energy minister Soda Zhemu, who also spoke during the post-Cabinet briefing, said the government will approach neighbouring countries to import electricity. He also said the government was in the process of rehabilitating the Hwange Power Plant to maximise electricity supplies.
“There is an increased use of electricity of 300 megawatts in the first quarter of the year. We have noted the increase in demand because of an increase in the housing units. To match the demand as a government, we have put in place mechanisms; for instance, we have approached Zesco in Zambia and we are talking with authorities in Mozambique to help us with the power supplies,” Zhemu said.
“To also augment our supplies, we have embarked on mid-term projects by approaching private players and we are looking at rehabilitating the Hwange Power Station which is very old. We have already secured the funds. Some of the projects will help to solve the existing gaps between supply and demand as our industry is growing,” he said.