Pride Mahlangu, Business Reporter
ZESA Holdings says violent storms that have been predicted by the Meteorological Services Department will worsen the power supply situation in the country as electricity infrastructure would be destroyed.
The Meteorological Services Department has warned that violent storms may hit the country this week and urged people to brace for more rains accompanied by lightning and thunderstorms.
At present, Zimbabwe is grappling with power supply constraints as the country is not generating enough power to support economic activity largely because of a number of challenges facing the power utility.
In an interview yesterday, Zesa spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira said during the violent storms, electricity infrastructure particularly cables and poles are likely to be damaged by falling trees among other incidences.
He said flooding and falling of trees on electricity distribution network damages the infrastructure while the piling up of technical faults would lead to delays in attending to the faults by Zesa. “Violent storms will affect service delivery. The number of rain-induced faults and the time taken to restore service will be longer due to the high number of faults involved,” said Mr Gwasira.
In 2017, electricity consumers grappled with power outages that took longer to be resolved as heavy rains pounded most parts of the country.
Meanwhile, vandalism is also another reason which is affecting service delivery through man-made faults.
Vandals are largely going after overhead copper conductors, transformer windings and transformer oil, and thus compromising service delivery particularly at a time when the country is battling foreign currency shortages.
Last year, during the ZimTrade Annual Exporters’ Conference in Bulawayo, President Mnangagwa said Zesa workers have a hand in the rampant vandalism and theft of electricity infrastructure, which has cost the country millions of dollars and led to disruption of efficient power transmission across the country.
The power utility needs at least US$40 million to replace more than 4 000 transformers, which have been vandalised across the country.
Zesa has also lost up to 1 000km of power lines to cable thieves, according to recent reports. — @pridesinstinctz.