By Leopold Munhende
SOUTH African power utility Eskom is yet to receive the money President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government claims it deposited as part of its plan to settle a US$80 million electricity debt.
In a statement Friday, Eskom said the US$10 million that Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa on Wednesday claimed Zimbabwe had paid on Zesa’s behalf was yet to reflect in its accounts.
The SA power supplier also dismissed claims by Energy Minister Fortune Chasi that there were negotiations between the two parastatals for a 400MW electricity supply relief deal.
“Eskom would like to state that no funds have reflected on its accounts for Zimbabwe’s outstanding debt as of 28 June at 1500hrs.
“This is in response to the announcement made in Zimbabwe and queries Eskom is receiving regarding this issue.
“Once Eskom has received the funds, we will then enter into further discussions with Zesa,” said Eskom group chief executive officer Phakamani Hadebe.
Chasi on Wednesday told a post-Cabinet media briefing that Zesa was already in negotiations with Eskom for possible electricity supplies.
Permanent Secretary in the Information Ministry, Nick Mangwana promised to issue a statement later “after consultations.”
Energy Minister Fortune Chasi’s phone was unreachable late Friday.
Zimbabwe is experiencing one of its worst power crises that has seen businesses and households endure 15 hour loadshedding periods per day.
Low water levels at Kariba have resulted in depressed power generation capacity and the situation has been compounded by breakdowns at the Hwange Power Station due to obsolete equipment.