Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

350 000 households seek Zesa grid connection

by Staff reporter
11 Oct 2022 at 06:03hrs | Views
MORE than 350 000 households who have applied for electricity connection are still waiting to be connected to the grid, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) has said.

ZETDC commercial director Mr Ralph Katsande said in an interview in Victoria Falls recently that there were numerous challenges to connecting new clients, mainly involving the required infrastructure.

"As a country, we are facing a backlog of over 350 000 that require connection. We have got a customer base of over 850 000 and potentially we can connect another 360 000, but we don't have backbone infrastructure to do that," said Mr Katsande.

He said in the last couple of months, ZETDC had been on a recapitalisation drive to mobilise funds for projects including acquiring replacement equipment.

Besides having to expand and maintain equipment, ZETDC is also fighting thieves stealing cables and transformers, despite the minimum 10-year-sentences for this.

Energy production and availability is one of the priority areas for Government in its development agenda as power supply is key to economic stabilisation and growth.

Mr Katsande said Zesa and ZETDC had come up with interventions to enable the utility to play its role in economic growth.

Some of the interventions include increasing power generation to augment supply and signing up agreements with independent power producers to eliminate load shedding and eventually make the country a net exporter.

"I am happy that we are now in the mode of implementation and going forward you will see us on the ground to make sure we are now doing the backlog work.

"We have a backlog of maintenance where we need to replace over 2 000 transformers.

"Our customers have gone for a long time without power supply because of other reasons, faults and so on.

"So we have started to restore the integrity of our network so that we can improve service delivery," said Mr Katsande.

ZETDC also has slightly over 23 000 customers who are off supply for long periods because of vandalism, which is costing the utility US$4 million per year in equipment damage and US$1.6 million per month in revenue.

Mr Katsande appealed to electricity users to use power sparingly saying every unit of energy that is not saved because of faults due to vandalism costs the economy  US$2,70.

Source - The Herald