By Joseph Madzimure
Zesa HOLDINGS has reverted to Stage Two load-shedding schedule hardly two weeks after assuring consumers of significant relief.
Zesa spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira earlier this month said they had downgraded load-shedding from Stage Two to Stage One after it started receiving 400MW from Eskom of South Africa.
However, before most consumers had improved supplies, Zesa yesterday announced increased load-shedding due to depressed generation of power.
Writing on his Twitter handle yesterday, Mr Gwasira said load-shedding was now at Stage Two.
“Load-shedding is at Stage 2. The small Stage 1 generators, whilst online, are producing very little and a major Stage 2 unit gone out for repairs. Shedding has increased phenomenally,” said Mr Gwasira.
However, Energy and Power Development Minister Fortune Chasi told The Herald that improved electricity supplies could be witnessed in September.
Minister Chasi said following the return to service of Unit 5 at Hwange Power Station, adding 160MW to the grid, power supply had improved, but Zesa was prioritising the productive sector.
He said Government negotiations with Mozambique to increase power imports were also underway.
“Following the return to service of Unit 5 at Hwange adding 160MW to the grid, we expect to see improvement in power supply.
“Unit 6 will be opened up for inspection on the first week of September for fault diagnostic,” said Minister Chasi.
“Currently, Zesa is prioritising the productive sector such as mining, winter wheat and the manufacturing sector.
“Our intention is to ensure that we are giving as much power to the productive sector.
“The Government wants to make sure that the mines are operating. On the farms, particularly now, there is winter wheat, we want to make sure the farmers have got power.
“So the domestic consumer admittedly will find that there will be load shedding, but we should look at the global picture and what our priorities are,” said Minister Chasi.
He added that it was the responsibility of Zesa to inform consumers on changes in load-shedding, especially in residential areas.
“I must admit that there has been a bit of regression over the past few days, that is not a permanent situation.
“It will be resolved very soon. Zesa should publicise load-shedding schedules to customers so that they make informed decisions.
“It has been due to challenges we faced on a number of units in Hwange.
“They are actively being sorted out.
“We want to continue to improve the availability of power and I want to assure the public that we are working very actively around the clock on the challenges facing the country,” said Minister Chasi.