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Zimbabwe Utility Said in Talks with South Africa to Provide World Cup Power Boost

Government sources said the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority has agreed to sell at least 300 megawatts of electricity to Eskom during the World Cup

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority and Eskom of South Africa are said to be close to a deal under which the cash-strapped Zimbabwean utility would share generating capacity during the June-July World Cup period.

Government sources said ZESA has agreed to sell at least 300 megawatts of electricity to Eskom though it has been incapable of meeting domestic power requirements for years with blackouts endemic.

Sources said the deal will help raise cash to pay down debts including millions ZESA owes Eskom.

VOA was unable to reach electric power utility managers on either side of the border for comment.

But Zimbabean member of Parliament Moses Mare, a member of the House Committee on Mines and Energy, said ZESA has no excess capacity to sell to any Southern African country, adding that if the parastatal provides any electricity to Eskom, many Zimbabweans will be left in total darkness.

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association spokesman Roderick Fayayo said residents of the Matabeleland capital are likely to miss most of the World Cup matches on television if ZESA exports power.