Zimbabwe sets six-month deadline for mines and farmers to settle electricity bills
HARARE — Zimbabwe’s state-owned electricity distributor has given businesses, including mines and large-scale farms, six months to clear their bills or risk being cut off and face litigation, the company said on Monday.
The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) is owed more than $1bn by electricity users, including domestic households, farmers, industries and mining companies.
ZETDC said in a public notice that businesses had six months to clear their bills because it required the money to pay for electricity imports to supplement local generation.
Zimbabwe, which has had stable electricity supplies for more than a year, currently produces 938MW and imports up to 450MW from South Africa and Mozambique.
Chamber of Mines CE Isaac Kwesu said that although some members had accrued huge bills they had made plans to clear the arrears with ZETDC.
"I know members will make all efforts to honour their dues because there is no one who can afford to have a mine closed," Kwesu said, but declined to name members with arrears.
Zimbabwe this month expects to commission two new generating units at its biggest hydroelectric power plant, Kariba, which will add 300MW of capacity.