We have to talk about the electricity situation again. Late last month, the Zambezi River Authority let us know that they would be slashing water allocation for power generation by 25% over at Kariba. That would surely lead to load-shedding, right?
Apparently not because the government triumphantly declared the end of rolling blackouts. Said the Ministry of Information,
Cabinet noted with satisfaction that the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority has announced the end to load-shedding as a result of interventions implemented by the Second Republic
I have to admit, I’m at a loss here. I have no idea what the government is talking about here. The cabinet is satisfied, apparently, although I’m finding it difficult to comprehend what exactly is causing that contentment.
I actually missed that statement when it was released by the ministry because I was in the dark. We had no power in my neighbourhood for a few days straight and it was during that time that the end of load-shedding was announced. Hilarious!
To be fair though, it wasn’t classical load-shedding in my neighbourhood. It was most likely a fault but we get faults every fortnight in Mabelreign, I’m convinced they are a load-shedding tool. You won’t tell me otherwise on this, so don’t even try.
Of course, load-shedding is still very much a reality which means the statement above should be taken as a political statement.
If they had actually given us details on how the problem had been solved, we would have something to talk about. We don’t and so we have to bank on their declaration even as it goes against what we are experiencing on the ground.
Hwange can’t cope
We appreciate the developments we saw at Hwange. Units 7 and 8 went live this year and together they will contribute about 600MW to the grid. That’s a significant contribution and we all love it.
However, Kariba will be contributing less with each passing month until the next rainy season. Hwange can’t pick up that slack.
We could have demonstrated this clearly, but there seems to be a peculiar occurrence:
The ZPC website is down
The Zimbabwe Power Company website has been down for a little while. As you know, I keep a tinfoil hat under my bed and if I put it on, I can’t help but feel it has been intentionally taken down.
See, we could all see just where our power is coming from on that website. The last instance of the website that’s captured in the archives is from 8 June.
It showed Kariba contributing 900MW and Hwange producing 606MW. That was pretty much what we saw before the water allocation cuts at Kariba. So, we are not really sure how much power Kariba is producing post-water allocation cut but we know it’s less. Hwange was close to capacity then and won’t make up for that deficit.
I think that the little table above would work against the declaration that load-shedding is a thing of the past. We know that demand is at least 1400MW and so we would clearly see that we were not producing enough to meet demand.
I’m quietly chanting ‘BRING BACK THE WEBSITE’ in my head but am making sure I don’t vocalise it.
I’m probably drinking the strong stuff but I can’t shake the feeling that the website is not down because ZPC engineers can’t resolve a 404 issue. Nah, there’s probably a memo that says to leave it be. Or maybe not. Who knows?
What are your thoughts? Is the website being down due to the usual incompetence we should expect, or is it caused by something else?