Already under the whip from a perfect storm of rampant inflation, cash and fuel shortages, higher taxes, collapsing domestic demand, lower global commodity prices, and severe drought, business in Zimbabwe is now being forced to grapple with a new crisis — load-shedding. In part, this is drought-induced with generation from Kariba Dam, which serves both Zimbabwe and Zambia, slashed by a third to 358MW. This has resulted in supplies to homes and businesses being cut off for up to 10 hours a day. Peak power consumption is estimated at 2,100MW but Zimbabwe is producing only 970MW and is heavily reliant on imports from Mozambique and SA. Dam levels at Kariba have fallen to 33%, down from 71% a year ago. The state-owned Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority warns this is only stage 1 of the process and that if the situation deteriorates further, stage 2 — load-shedding of 12-15 hours daily — will be necessary. All sectors of the economy will be hit hard by the cuts. Mining firms, already ...

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