Eskom and Cahorra Bassa threaten to pull the plug on Zimbabwe


Power lines and pylons in front of Eskom's Lethabo power station situated between Vereeniging and Sasolburg in the Free State on 18 January 2015.

HARARE - Zimbabwe has been given two months to pay its bills for power from South African power utility Eskom and Mozambique’s Hydro Cahora Bassa, HCB.

Zimbabwe imports at least 30 percent of its power and owes Eskom about R250 million and HCB about R126 million.

Julian Chinembiri, managing director of the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) said this week that arrears were mounting.

He told the Financial Gazette in Harare that both power suppliers had given Zimbabwe a “grace period” to clear arrears.

“Eskom gave us up to December 2016 while HCB gave us up to the end of November to clear the arrears. At the moment we are enjoying stable power supply and we would want to keep supplies as they are and ensure that load shedding does not occur,” he said.

“We have prepayment arrangements with Eskom and HCB.”

Zimbabwe imports about 350 megawatts (MW) of electricity from Eskom and 50MW from HCB. It also generates power from a bank of diesel generators which several Harare newspapers claim is owned by the family of president Robert Mugabe’s son-in-law, Simba Chikore, who was recently appointed to the number two spot in bankrupt Air Zimbabwe.

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