Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) could have a national blackout by October, as foreign currency runs dry amidst latest indication that government last week, turned down their request for tariff increase.
Troubled national power utility last week had a high level meeting with government where they had hoped government would give a nod to a tariff increase but the proposal was shot down, with government however offering to take care of the pressing ZESA issues, while it protects the consumers.
A time bomb however is ticking towards summer as national water levels are running low, Zesa will have to drop down the amount its utilizing, while the inevitable will occur, Zimbabwe still will have to import more energy from Eskom, which it however still owes, which is another foreign currency headache.
The other problem that ZESA is facing is on servicing their own equipment, which naturally must happen every 5 years, but due to lack of foreign currency, the utility company has not been able to do so, meaning technically they are running on equipment which may be on its knees any time soon.
ZESA also has other serious foreign currency obligations it has not fulfilled and should these not be attended to, we may be facing more darker days.
From early this year the supply authority has since been requesting to increase electricity prices as they have various obligations with power supplying companies, the Chinese and South African company Eskom whose debts need to be settled.
From last month ZESA Holdings has been since insisted that the tariff increase request, was in tandem with the February 20 Monetary Policy Statement from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).
Tariffs are currently priced at 9,38 cents per kilowatt/hour, which is about US$0,04 when using an average exchange rate of 1:2,5.
Besides the tariff issue, hundreds of thousands ZESA is already collecting will soon be meaningless as the price is being eroded by RTGS value against the greenback, while still it has million dollar worth of payments, awaiting RBZ approval, but due to empty Nostro, these payments are not going through