BY SILAS NKALA
THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (Zetdc) Western region yesterday disrupted electricity supplies to some parts of Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and South affecting operations of industries and other businesses in the region.
The power cuts also made it impossible to make calls through TelOne lines.
In a notice dated May 4, Zetdc advised its clients of the power supply interruptions from 9am to 4pm for routine maintenance.
“During the maintenance period, electricity will not be available in Criterion Bulawayo City Council Water works, Plumtree, Figtree, Tsholotsho, Tshabalala, Tregar Foundries, Burnside, Douglasdsale, Hillcrest, Hillside, Fourwinds and surrounding areas,” read the notice.
Zetdc said areas such as Nkulumane, Nketa, Emganwini, Rangemore, Natbrew, Presbury, Cold Storage Commission, Sterling Furnitures, ZECO, Halifax, Kerries, Cosco, Dat labs, D=Biona, CT Bolts, Phoenix, Berkshire, CMED Fuels, Nimr and Chapman, Kelvin West industries, Panel link Manufacturing, Delta Kelvin West, Neddicky Industries, Grills Abattoirs, Naisonale and their surroundings will have their power supplies disrupted.
“Customers are advised to treat all circuits as live during this period as power may be restored without notice,” Zetdc said.
National Consumer Rights Association campaign and advocacy advisor Effie Ncube said it is clear that Zesa is failing to execute its mandate to ensure reliable access to electricity supplies to every household and industry in the country.
“The erratic supply of electricity is disruptive to the lives of consumers and leads to additional expenses for cooking and lighting among the most vulnerable households. These additional expenses are a huge challenge in a society characterized by debilitating poverty, hunger and high unemployment.
“To make matters worse, turning off electricity will give cable thieves an opportunity to steal cables. In turn the suffering consumers will be asked to fork out huge sums of money from their meagre incomes to have cables replaced. Zesa should find better ways to ensure reliable electricity supplies and mobilise stakeholders for a whole of society response against cable theft. Consumers must also report cases of cable theft and help apprehend the criminals,” Ncube said.
He urged communities to form neighbourhood patrols to curb vandalism of electricity infrastructure.