Zimbabwe: Chamber of mines says power cuts putting mine workers’ lives at risk

Author: Pindula News, (Zimbabwe) , Published on: 8 January 2020

‘ZESA Power Cuts Bleeding Mining Companies & A Threat To Workers’ Safety’

Zimbabwe’s mining industry has not been spared debilitating power cuts by the country’s power utility ZESA Holdings despite paying for electricity in advance and in foreign currency. Speaking to Business Times, Isaac Kwesu, CEO of the Chamber of Mines Zimbabwe, said uninterrupted electricity supplies will prevent costly stoppages while at the same time guaranteeing the safety of workers.

Mining requires electricity for both operations 24/7 and the safety of workers. It is very costly to have production stoppages. The safety of workers also needs to be guaranteed. Reports indicate that some miners have been cut off for up to three days a week even though they pay for power in foreign currency under a deal with the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Authority (ZETDC), a ZESA subsidiary.

The country requires close to 2 000 megawatts but generates less than 600 megawatts, due to a receding water level at Kariba Dam and constant breakdowns at the ageing thermal power plants at Hwange, Bulawayo, Munyati and Harare.

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