Transformer thefts under spotlight

Source: Transformer thefts under spotlight | The Herald

Transformer thefts under spotlight
Minister Soda

Prince Meke

Herald Reporter

ZESA HOLDINGS’ ability to effectively supply power to businesses and residents continues to be hamstrung following reports that more than 1 200 transformers were stolen across the country in recent years.

Although Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) recently increased water allocations to Zesa to increase power generation, some residential areas countrywide are experiencing power cuts.

Energy and Power Development Minister Zhemu Soda said there was adequate supply from generation, but vandalism across all Zesa regions was a challenge.

Minister Soda said Zesa was looking for the latest technology to deter vandals and appealed to the public to report suspects to police.

Reports say cable thieves take advantage of power outages to steal the components that they sell to mainly scrap metal dealers.

Minister Soda said if unchecked, the practice would undermine any investment that went into power generation as electricity would not reach the intended users.

“If you look at the statistics, you will realise that it’s spread nationally and this presents a huge challenge in terms of curbing the vice,” said Minister Soda.

“At Government level, we are obviously looking at technologies that can be used to deter this kind of economic sabotage, but before we register success on that front, there is need for the people of Zimbabwe to take a position and say we can’t allow this to continue by reporting all perpetrators.

“Because at this rate, it doesn’t matter how much money we invest in generation, if we don’t have transformers or we continue to lose them like this, then generation investment will not count for anything.

He also explained that although there is enough electricity in the country, there were challenges with obsolete equipment as units are continuously breaking down.

“The other reason for the power cuts is the onset of the rainy season.

“The storms affect our electricity transmission and distribution lines.

Those are the problems that might be causing breakdowns.

“We have technicians and engineers who are currently working on the faults to ensure that electricity supply is restored as soon as possible.”

Minister Soda said according to a report from Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution Company (ZETDC) the deficit is very minimal.

“We are not going back to 2020. From now on we are moving forward. As far as the electricity situation is concerned, there has been a great improvement this year,” he said