Deep in the cactus now?

via Deep in the cactus now? – ANGUS SHAW September 4, 2015

When will the cactus really hit the fan? How deep in it are we?

The electricity supply people just announced that from September 1 power output from the Kariba hydroelectric dam, currently the biggest provider, will be slashed from 750 MegaWatts to 475 MW until water levels in the lake rise again.

That won’t be for some months – until the next rains fall in the vast Zambezi catchment as far away as Angola and the DRC. So the weeks ahead look very bleak and very dark indeed.

The lake is dropping so close to the level of the turbines that there soon wouldn’t be enough water to go through them. ‘Water consumption’ by the turbines, therefore, has to be drastically ‘scaled down.’

The second main supplier, the decrepit Hwange coal-fired power station, is undergoing important repair work throughout September, leading to even more severe power cuts.

With stringent recent ‘load shedding,’ Zimbabwe could just about get by with about 1,100 MegaWatts available. By October, the country will be lucky to have 700 MW to draw from; in happier times, maximum supply at peak demand was 2,200 MW.

Industry, or what’s left of it, has warned that worsening cuts will likely cause full-scale shutdowns, adding to the already dire layoffs and unemployment crisis and all the social ills that go with that. Where possible, say the electricity people, power imports will be found; but neighbours South Africa and Zambia have power problems of their own and Mozambique wants cash upfront that Zimbabwe doesn’t have at the moment.

The weather may well be the main villain of the piece this time around, but the bottom line is that little has been done over the years to maintain, upgrade, increase or secure power generation.

Zimbabweans have long been living with daily power cuts of 16 hours and more. Doom sayers insist Zimbabwe has finally reached the gateway to Armageddon, but haven’t they been saying that in the economic decline for some years? What is certain is that the destructive domino effect of diminishing electricity has started across all walks of life. The scary part is that no-one knows what to do about it. It’s rather like a rabbit being mesmerised by the headlights of a car before being run over …

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 6
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    Planning? ROFL

    Couldn’t plan a pissup in a brewery. Pamberi ne Zanoooooo!!!!!

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    grabmore 5 years ago

    And the only people who have never experienced load shedding are the chefs. They always look confused when people complain about 16 hours hapana magetz per day. But the telly funny thing is that the chefs also do not pay any Zesa bills. So free electricity and on 24/7/365

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    Mugarbage sucks 5 years ago

    Rhodesia managed without electricity in 1920, not to worry, Zimbabwe will do so again in 2020.
    One major achievement of indigenisation is the reintroduction of the ox plow. One small step for an ox, a giant leap for Mugabe and ZANU.

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    Chidumbu 5 years ago

    So the truth is out, there’s not enough water in Lake Kariba to generate power and here I was thinking it was due to the incompetent idiots running the country since 1982, silly me

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    This “De-Colonisation” is going fantastically! Just keep in mind that year they are aiming for is about 1600 – or maybe as far back as 1200? When the Shona first arrived I believe and colonised the place from the San – who’d been around for about 30,000 years

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    mrk001 5 years ago

    let them suffer …