THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) is facing viability challenges, including acute transport problems to carry out its mandate.

BY REX MPHISA

ZETDC acting managing director Lovemore Chinaka said the problems were affecting the daily running of the country’s power utility currently heavily reliant on hired vehicles at most of its stations.

In a interview yesterday, Chinaka said some projects had been put on hold because of shortage of materials, but was optimistic his organisation would be on the rebound because it was mobilising resources. Chinaka could, however, not say off-hand the amount ZETDC needed to meet its power supply obligations.

“We have serious challenges in transport that have affected our operations. We also need raw materials to carry out our work. I cannot say off-hand how much we need. We are mobilising resources required to meet demand,” he said.

“Electrification of sections of Beitbridge is among our three major projects on plans. We have the transformers, but are still here in Harare. We should be moving to the ground, but we still need material for that project,” he said.

The power utility has been struggling to supply the country with power, forcing people to destroy forests for firewood.

ZETDC has in the recent past increased its tariffs attracting public outcry, but it maintains its charges were the lowest in the region.

In September this year, Chinaka said the existing rate was approximately US0,02 per kilowatt hour instead of US0,10 cents per kWh at which the power utility can break even. Mobility in the exchange rates resulted in recurrent increases in imported electricity prices threatening Zesa’s viability.

ZETDC blamed vandalism for its failure to power 100 000 households in the past five years.

In 2017, ZETDC recorded 736 cases of theft and vandalism which in 2018 climbed to 766 and jumped to 1 178 last year. This year in July 498 cases had already been recorded.

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