Zesa to lay-off 1000 workers

via Zesa to lay-off 1000 workers | The Herald January 5, 2016

Martin Kadzere Senior Business Reporter
ABOUT 700 workers at Zesa Holdings will be left jobless after the power utility resolved not to renew their contracts to cut expenditure, sources at the company said.

Zesa also plans to lay off additional 300 permanent employees “deemed redundant”.

Sources said the current productivity levels were making it difficult for Zesa to sustain its strong workforce. Zesa Holdings, which has four subsidiaries, employs about 7 000 workers.

“The company is trying to manage staff costs to maintain viability in light of reduced generation capacity and low revenue inflows,” said one source who requested anonymity.

“The total figure will get up to about 1 000 comprising 700 contract workers and 300 permanent staff.”

No official comment could be obtained from Zesa by the time of going to print yesterday.

The most affected workers are from the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company and power generation subsidiary, the Zimbabwe Power Company.

Zesa is currently generating about 1 000 megawatts at its plants after significantly reduced production at Kariba Hydro Power Station from about 730 MW to 470 due to low water levels. This is far below peak demand requirement of about 2 200 megawatts.

Last week, Zesa said if water levels remains low, it will be forced to reduce production to 200 MW at Kariba. Generation at Hwange Power Station, its biggest plant with capacity of 920 MW has also declined to an average 420 MW due to recurrent breakdowns.

“This has become unsustainable. So the company had to take a decision not to renew the contracts and to dismiss some of permanent workers so that resources are saved for other critical areas such as operations and maintenance,” the source said.

To argument supplies, Zesa recently struck a power deal with Eskom of South and is importing 300 megawatts daily, a development that has improved electricity supply. The 50 MW are on firm contact basis while the remainder comes mainly during SA’s off peak periods. Eskom, whose Medupi plant delivered the first 800 MW in August last year generates about 35 200 MW at its power units. Zimbabwe also imports power from Mozambique while negotiation are ongoing with a Zambian private power company.

To improve revenue and support imports, Zesa sought regulatory approvals to increase tariffs from an average 9,89c kWh.

Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Samuel Undenge said Zimbabweans should brace for a significant increase in tariff to boost demand.

“Tariff adjustments are inevitable in 2016, but we make sure that these will be minimum,” he said. “The situation we are in is not normal and we therefore need to bite the bullet. Power is not going to come cheaply. We will have to sacrifice if we are to lessen our load shedding hours. Yes, things are tough but we should pay for the service.”

The average 9,89c kWh tariff being charged by Zesa is far below regional tariff level of 14c kWh.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 6
  • comment-avatar
    IAN SMITH 5 years ago

    ZESA is now 100% Indigenised and working very well without settlers.
    1000 will be fired no worries mostly Ndebeles who cares.
    Thank you very much.

  • comment-avatar
    Rwendo 5 years ago

    “Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Samuel Undenge said Zimbabweans should brace for a significant increase in tariff to boost demand.”

    Either my grasp of economics is even worse than I imagined, or else this guy is reasoning with the wrong end of his body.

    • comment-avatar
      Howard 5 years ago

      May please introduce wind power for the climate is changing water & wind generating will become costly

  • comment-avatar
    REALISTIC 5 years ago

    For ZESA to get more revenue they should generate more electricity. If there is no electricity people use other alternatives like gas or solar. More and more people are investing in such kind of appliances. So be careful ZESA if people become too comfortable in using gas some will never revert back to cooking with electricity even when things normalise. This happenned to CIty of Harare. They denied people tap water and people resorted to sinking boreholes or even bulk water buying and has proved to be very good. So many people especially in low density surbubs dont care about City of Harare water hence very little revenue is collected monthly. So ZESA dont let this happen to you. I know of a number of people who cook with gas even if there is electricity. More electricity means more revenue. During the days of excessive load shedding I used to spend very little for electricity per month compared to maybe x 3 that when there is electricity all the time.

  • comment-avatar
    O.Mudyandarira 5 years ago

    Why can’t ZESA switch to wind power generation as we are likely to have drought for the coming four years.

  • comment-avatar
    O.Mudyandarira 5 years ago

    Why can’t ZESA switch to wind power generation as we are likely to have drought for the coming four years.Since Hwange power generation is costly.