The electricity situation in Zimbabwe has improved in the early days of October compared to what we have been going through the past 6+ months with power cuts lasting 18 months in most neighbourhoods. As we write this we still have power and for the past few days, powercuts have rarely lasted more than 12 hours.

It’s too early to tell but it seems the government has delivered on its promise that by beginning of October the power situation will have improved. However more still needs to be done in terms of energy as even 12-hour power cuts are still too much for the local struggling industry.

We have Hwange and Mozambique to thank

Hwange Unit 5 which was offline has come back online. That plus the additional 100MW we are getting from Mozambique has resulted in the situation improving.

ZESA is seeking another tariff hike

Since a lot of the power we are using right now is imported and the local Zimbabwe dollar continues to lose value, ZESA have written to ZERA and the government seeking a tariff adjustment that reflects the cost of importing power.

It seems local businesses also support a tariff hike as they seem to believe that it will mean more power to them as they are best placed to afford it compared with domestic consumers. Considering the prices they are charging for basic commodities, however, it is doubtful they can afford to increase their production cost which they will have to pass to already burdened consumers.

ZESA Needs 11 500 MW for 2030

The government is always harping about making Zimbabwe a middle-income economy by 2030. Well if that is to happen, according to the Minister of Energy, ZESA needs about 11 500MW. Currently, we have an install capacity of just over 2 500MW.

I should point out at this juncture that an upper-middle-income society of 2030 is estimated to require about 11 500MW of power.

With the current installed capacity of 2 260MW we have, the work in front of us is really challenging.

Fortune Chasi speech at a Water Sanitation conference in Bulawayo