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Zesa disconnects Bulawayo tower lights

by Staff reporter
28 May 2024 at 09:44hrs | Views
The power utility Zesa has deactivated the Bulawayo tower lights from postpaid metering as part of its transition to a prepaid model. Concerns arise among residents fearing potential blackouts in many suburbs if the council delays electricity bill payments.

Confirming the move, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) acknowledged initiating the disconnection process three weeks ago, prompting unease among residents regarding security issues due to areas being left in darkness. This marks the first time such disconnections have occurred in the city's history, residents claim.

Zesa Holdings explained that the migration from postpaid to prepaid metering for tower lights is part of an ongoing nationwide project initiated in 2012. The utility aims to finalize this transition by the end of June 2024, with over 93 percent of postpaid customers already migrated to the prepaid system.

While Zesa informed the Bulawayo City Council of the impending changes, the council claims it was not adequately notified, resulting in approximately 90 tower lights in western suburbs being disconnected. Efforts are underway to rectify the situation, but delays in obtaining necessary balance invoices from Zesa hinder the reconnection process.

In response, the council plans to engage ZETDC to address the issue and ensure better communication and coordination in future operations. Additionally, considering the recurrent interruptions, the council contemplates replacing grid-powered tower lights with solar-powered alternatives.

The abrupt disconnection of tower lights has sparked disappointment and concern among residents and security experts alike. Tower lights play a vital role in public security, aiding in crime prevention and enhancing visibility, particularly at night. The absence of adequate lighting compromises public safety and increases the risk of criminal activities.

While ZETDC has addressed technical challenges in purchasing electricity units following the transition to the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) billing system, concerns linger regarding the ongoing disruption caused by the disconnection of tower lights.

Source - The Chronicle
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