THE country should brace for more power blackouts as Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) has announced a nationwide load-shedding caused by low power generation.

In a statement yesterday, the power distributor advised the country that power cuts would be frequent and they were working towards fixing the problem.

“The ZETDC would like to advise its valued customers countrywide that there will be increased load curtailment from the 13th of July 2022. This is due to depressed local power generation coupled by increased electricity demand in winter and power import constraints.

“Our engineers are still working round the clock to ensure full restoration of service. Customers are advised to use electricity sparingly and to always switch off electrical appliances when not in use. The inconvenience caused is sincerely regretted,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has allowed Zesa Holdings (Zesa) to bill exporters and partial exporters in  US$ to enable  the company to generate foreign currency.

This comes as the power utility is failing to supply the nation with adequate electricity citing the high demand for power during the winter wheat season and low revenues due to vandalism and infrastructure breakdowns throughout the country.

In a statutory instrument 131 of 2022 for Exchange Control Order, published in the Government Gazette, the RBZ said exporters can now purchase electricity in advance and also set parameters of how the money would be banked for transparency.

Zesa shall be allowed to bill in US$ or the equivalent in Euro or any other currency denominated under the exchange rate control order at the international cross rate prevailing on the date of payment for the supply of electricity by Zesa to the exporters and partial exporters,” RBZ said.

The Central Bank also said any designated consumer of electricity may enter into a contract or memorandum of agreement with Zesa to pay in advance for the supply of electricity.

 “A copy of the contract or memorandum of agreement should be submitted to the Zera(Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority) and the  Reserve Bank prior to implementation.

“Accounting of foreign currency obtained by Zesa under this order, foreign currency received by Zesa in terms of this order should be deposited in a foreign currency account opened and operated with any authorised dealer.

“Provided that Zesa may open and operate separate foreign currency accounts with the same or different authorised dealers in respect of each of the foreign currencies in which it received payment in terms of this order,” reads part of the gazette.

The apex bank emphasised that Zesa must utilise the money realised to import electricity and upgrade their infrastructure to prevent power losses.

“Zesa shall not make any withdrawals or payments from any foreign currency account referred to in subsection, without prior written approval of the minister responsible for Finance and the minister responsible for Energy.

“The amount accrued in the account shall be used and applied for the purchasing of electricity outside Zimbabwe.

“Importation of spare parts, critical assets and components needed to maintain the local generation, transmission, distribution and retail infrastructure of the electricity network to ensure sustainable supply,” the gazette reads.- Daily News