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Zimbabwe Power Utility Scuttles Reported Export Deal with S. Africa's Eskom

  • Gibbs Dube

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority is producing some 1,100 megawatts compared with a national requirement of 2,000 megawatts and is obliged to import electricity from Mozambique and Zambia

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, which was reported to close to an agreement with Eskom of South Africa to export 300 megawatts of power during the World Cup, said Thursday that it will not be exporting power.

Sources said ZESA broke off negotiations with Eskom after the Combined Harare Residents Association and two Bulawayo civic groups threatened to take steps to block the deal in court. They said that if the agreement was established, Zimbabwe - or much of it - was likely to be left in the dark.

ZESA is currently struggling to meet domestic power needs with industry and commerce almost crippled by inadequate electricity supplies. The state-run utility is producing some 1,100 megawatts compared with a national requirement of 2,000 megawatts and is obliged to import electricity from Mozambique and Zambia.

ZESA spokesman Fullard Gwasira told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that Eskom has not formally asked ZESA to supply South Africa with electricity for the cup since the Zimbabwean company is unable to meet domestic needs.

“We support the World Cup, but unfortunately at this moment we do not have the power resources to support the showcase as we do not have enough power for our own market,” Gwasira told VOA.

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