Background
The generation, transmission and distribution of electricity is undertaken by the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA). The Authority is working on a number of major rehabilitations and new projects over the next 20 years, mostly in conjunction with neighbouring states as it believes that regional power-sharing and co-operation is the best way for equitable distribution of the region’s power resources. One electricity body with which ZESA cooperates is CAPC, the Central African Power Company. CAPC operates the Kariba Complex, consisting of the Kariba Dam and four power stations, one of which supplies electricity to Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwean government submitted a draft white paper containing guidelines for the privatisation of ZESA (the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority) in March 2000. The white paper proposes the unbundling of the utility and the privatisation of power stations in a phased programme for the next six years.

Zimbabwe’s first independent private power project was commissioned in 1996. The Russitu mini hydro facility was developed by the Rusity Power Corporation (Pvt) Ltd. The company has signed a 20 year power purchase agreement with ZESA.

In June 1999, Zimbabwe faced an energy crisis, which was likely the result of government imposed tariffs.

The consumption of power in Zimbabwe is growing and in the year 2000 Zimbabwe was still importing electrical energy to supplement local production. The basic sources of electricity are hydro and thermal power which are generated at the Kariba South hydroelectric facility and the Hwange coal power station. The Hwange Coal Power Station was to receive additions which were scheduled for completion in 1998/99.

In early 2000 Eskom agreed to convert a portion of the arrears owing by the Zimbabwean government into a loan in order to continue supplying power to Zimbabwe. Eskom currently supplies around 300 MW of power to Zimbabwe, while Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa project supplies 500 MW. Zimbabwe imports approximately 45 % of its power from these two countries and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Recent political tensions have contributed to power supply problems in Zimbabawe. In lieu of payment for electricity supplied, Eskom has agreed to take a stake in Zesa.

Projects
The government approved a new rural electrification policy in 1995 to guide selection and prioritise projects. Zimbabwe also plans to provide electricity to more than 562 rural districts using solar electricity systems. Two systems would be built to generate 100 kW and 500 kW respectively. These would provide lighting in homes, as well as providing power to medium and small rural industries.

A proposed new power station at the Batoka Gorge on the Zambezi River is due for completion by 2003 with output being shared by Zimbabwe and its northern neighbour, Zambia. This project is still under negotiation as Zambia does not have the power supply shortfall that has been experienced in Zimbabwe. The government has agreed to assist the ZESA to attract private investment for its development plans which are estimated to cost Z$100 million for the next 25 years.

A project aimed at lifting the electricity generation capacity of Hwange Power Station, which should have been launched in 2000 at a cost of US$800 million, has been stalled due to lack of funds. This phase of the regeneration project would have added two power generation units to the present six. Recent repairs to the station have seen its capacity increase from 444 MW to 604 MW.

The Privatisation Unit of the Ministry of Finance of the Government of Lesotho (the “Government”) invites companies to pre-qualify to bid for the purchase of a majority of the issued ordinary share capital of the Lesotho Electricity Company (pty) Ltd (“LEC (pty)”) , the successor company to be formed to the Lesotho Electricity Corporation (“LEC”).

Wanting to deepen your company’s understanding of the African Energy sector? The Vukani Petroleum and Energy Institute offers a range of courses that support the Petroleum and Energy industries in South Africa and Africa as a whole.

Eskom Enterprises’ vision is to be the leading energy and related services business in emerging markets. Through our subsidiaries, we are engaged in a quest to develop and unleash Africa’s energy potential. Our track record so far is impressive: we assisted in the construction of more than 26 000 km of transmission line that spans virtually the entire Southern African region; some of the biggest and most advanced power generation plants in Africa have been built by us; through refurbishment, we have given Africa’s power industry a new lease of life; we supply energy management skills to a number of African governments.

The Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa is a self-financing, national development finance institution focusing on contributing to economic growth, industrial development and economic empowerment through its financing activities.

Shaun Bakamoso

Greetings. I'm Shaun Bakamoso, and I'm thrilled to be your guide through the dynamic world of business news in South Africa here at mbendi.co.za. With a passion for staying informed and a keen interest in the ever-evolving landscape of business, I've dedicated myself to providing you with timely, insightful, and comprehensive coverage of the latest developments impacting the South African economy. bakamoso@gmail.com / Instagram