Pride Mahlangu, Business Reporter
THE Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector says it is now back in business following the 400 megawatts Zesa/Eskom deal which has ensured reduced power cuts across the country.
Last week, the country’s power utility, Zesa, said it had downgraded load-shedding from Stage Two to Stage One after it started receiving power from Eskom of South Africa following the working out of payment modalities by both utilities.
Bulawayo Chamber of SMEs chairperson Mr Energy Majazi said there was huge improvement in electricity supply in their sectors.
“I can confirm that there has been great improvement in the availability of electricity in the industry, but I haven’t yet quantified in terms of revenue realised to say from what to what, but definitely there is a great improvement and we appreciate that this is assisting SMEs to realise their objectives,” he said.
Mr Majazi said most of the players in Bulawayo’s SMEs sector were back in business compared to the previous period following improved power supply.
He said they were significant improvements in production in the clothing and textiles industry, carpentry, metal fabrication, engineering and brick moulding sectors.
“Eventually this assessment covers all the informal sectors because when one sector starts working, the other also works as there is an inter-linkage of businesses from one to the other so everybody is actually on the job,” he said.
Zimbabwe has been experiencing load shedding outside the official schedule owing to a technical fault at Hwange power station and reduced electricity production due to low water levels at Kariba.
However, Zesa’s new deal with Eskom has improved the electricity situation by adding 400 megawatts to the national grid, leading to a scaling down of power cuts.
Mr Gringo, a welder in the informal sector, said they were back in business because of reduced hours of load shedding. He, however, said the power cuts should have a consistent schedule to allow them to plan ahead. — @pridesinstinctz