S. African president to talk with Eskom over Zimbabwe energy crisis

JOHANNESBURG, July 9 — President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised to hold discussions with power utility Eskom about an energy crisis currently affecting Zimbabwe.

He made the remarks on the sidelines of the extraordinary summit of the African Union (AU) in Niger after having talks with his Zimbabwean counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“They have been going through a massive drought and as a result they need energy and obviously they would like South Africa to help them,” he said.

“President Mnangwagwa requested for further support and this is the type of thing that we are going to discuss with Eskom.”

Eskom has completely stopped exporting energy to Zimbabwe due to an outstanding debt.

Last week, Zimbabwe’s power utility paid Eskom 10 million U.S. dollars, but over 20 million U.S. dollars is still outstanding.

Eskom told Xinhua on Tuesday that it was owed money by several clients in the Southern African Development Community region.

“What we can say is that 3 out of 11 of our customers in the region have outstanding debt of more than 30 days. Please note that when we refer to customers, we don’t mean countries as at times we could have more than one customer in one country,” said Eskom spokesperson Dikatso Mothae.

“Having all our customers pay for the services that we provide to them would go a long way into having a more sustainable Eskom,” Mothae added.
Zimbabwe has been implementing power cuts since the start of May. – XINHUA