Zim staves off punitive action by Eskom, again: report

2017-08-02 13:01
Picture: Duncan Alfreds, News24

Picture: Duncan Alfreds, News24

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Harare - Zimbabwe government officials have held "tough negotiations" with managers at Eskom to prevent South Africa’s power utility cutting off supplies over a $40 million debt.

Cash-strapped Harare has been given another chance not to default on a repayment plan, which had seen Eskom threatening to cut off power on August 1.

No further default

"We had tough negotiations but finally they accepted our payment plan which they expect us not to default on. Any default means curtailment of power," Josh Chifamba, the chief executive of Zimbabwe’s state ZESA power company said in comments carried by the official Chronicle newspaper

This was the second time since May that Zimbabwe has staved off a threat by Eskom to switch off the power.

Zimbabwe imports 300 megawatts of power per day from South Africa and around 50 megawatts from Mozambique's Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB), to which it owes 10 million US dollars, according to the Chronicle.

Another four months

The Chronicle said Zimbabwe has now paid eight million US to both Eskom and HCB to partly clear its debts. An unnamed source told the paper that under the latest repayment plan, Zimbabwe has to clear its debts to both companies within four months.

"We were on the verge of being switched off and that would have had a devastating impact on agriculture and the economy," the source added.

Read more on:    eskom  |  zimbabwe  |  sa  |  southern africa
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