Residents collect water at night from a borehole as the country faces 18-hour daily power cuts, in Harare, Zimbabwe. Picture: Picture: REUTERS / PHILIMON BULAWAYO
Residents collect water at night from a borehole as the country faces 18-hour daily power cuts, in Harare, Zimbabwe. Picture: Picture: REUTERS / PHILIMON BULAWAYO

Zimbabwe on Wednesday also experienced massive blackouts after power utility Eskom implemented stage two power cuts.

Eskom said stage-two load-shedding — which entails Eskom dropping 2,000MW from the grid to prevent it from tripping — will begin at 9am and continue until 11pm. It was expected to continue for the week.

Several parts of Harare’s central business district were without power on Wednesday, affecting business in the capital.

Zimbabwe, which itself has suffered  huge blackouts due to inadequate power supplies,  relies heavily on power from SA, importing  400MW from Eskom. 

Blackouts of up to 18 hours a day are common in Zimbabwe,  but imports from Eskom and Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa hydroelectric plant (100MW) had helped to ease the rolling power cuts.

Low water levels at the Kariba hydropower plant, dilapidated equipment at the coal-fired Hwange Thermal Power Station and foreign currency shortages have added to Zimbabwe’s worst power crisis in 20 years.

In a statement on Wednesday, Zimbabwe Electricity Power Authority (Zesa) spokesman Fullard Gwasira said: “The Eskom alert will affect power imports. As such load shedding will be implemented at stage two today (Wednesday).”