Zimbabwe, in an effort to keep power flowing to the country from South Africa, has paid down some of the debt it owes South African partners Eskom and Hydro Cahora Bassa (HCB).
Eskom issued Zimbabwe’s state-utility Zesa an ultimatum on August 1 for the amount owed; which was more than $50 million to Eskom and HCB combined. Zesa issued a payment to its partners in the amount of $8 million to stave off a stoppage of power supply.
Negotiations have taken place between the parties for the settlement of the debt. "We had tense and rigorous discussions ... but they finally agreed to our repayment plan and expect it to be respected. Any failure to pay will result in a power outage,"saidZesa CEO Josh Chifamba.
According to sources close to the company, Zesa expects to make monthly payments to Eskom of $10 million to repay the entire debt in 4 months.
Zesa and HCB leaders met in Harare to discuss the $10 million debt that binds them. HCB supplies, it should be noted, 50MW of the 350MW imported by Zimbabwe.