Zimbabwe started implementing load-shedding on Monday, after the government announced it was facing critical power shortfalls and had to introduce rotational power cuts in order to “balance the power supply available and the demand”.
The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) said power cuts, known locally as load-shedding, would start on Monday and will last up to eight hours during morning and evening peak periods.
“The power shortfall is being managed through load-shedding in order to balance the power supply available and the demand,” ZETDC said in a public notice.
Minister of Energy and Power Development Joram Gumbo was quoted by a local newspaper saying he would travel to Mozambique this week to try and negotiate an electricity supply deal with the country’s power utility Hydro Cahora Bassa.
The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) advised that the water level at the Kariba Dam, which had been supplying the country with an average of 542 Megawatts through the hydropower station, had dwindled.
“We had very little in terms of rainfall influence into the lake and we have reached a point whereby the power generation has scaled down. If we do not scale down, we may have to shut down the entire situation around October because we won’t be having water,” Zesa spokesman Fullard Gwasira stated.
The load-shedding exercise comes at a time when there’s peak demand for electricity because of winter. As such, if the conservation targets are not met, the load-shedding will go up to “Stage 2” whereby power cuts can go for 12-15 hours.