Power outages in Zimbabwe are poking really big holes in the country’s economic fabric that is already caving into the aftermath of the crisis. Companies are incurring losses running into millions of dollars with some firms on the brink of closure while workers have been forced to quit their jobs as many have not been compensated for their labour.
The new currency had given manufacturers an incentive to look for new export markets but the power blackouts are shrinking exports, causing foreign currency shortages, recurrent breakdown of aged equipment, debt due to severe reduction of water levels at Kariba Power Station have contributed to the energy crisis in the past couple of months.
Zimbabwe imports electricity from neighbouring Mozambique and South Africa and due to an acute foreign exchange shortage, the country has failed to retire debts. A couple of companies have resorted to diesel for generators as its cost skyrockets due to high demand at this hour of need.
“Power cuts have affected business severely. The loss of revenue runs into millions. In some cases, export orders are under threat due to lack of performance. The situation calls for urgent solutions before irreparable damage occurs to our fledgeling industries. Discussions with Zesa and the Ministry of Energy are in progress to find both short and long-term solutions,” said the President of Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president.
These blackouts have impacted negatively on businesses, with many companies contemplating closure, as the cost of operation has become unbearable for any thriving businesses.
“The power outages are an increase in the cost of doing business. Most businesses are relying on using generators which is expensive. There has been a significant reduction in production. Investment prospects have been affected. Energy is attractive to investors. If there is no energy, who would want to invest?” an economist questioned.