Zimbabwean businesses now have to grapple with erratic electricity supply on top of everything else. According to ZESA low water levels at Kariba have made it necessary to introduce load shedding. Businesses such as mines rely on electricity for most of their operations.
According to the new Energy Minister, Fortune Chasi, all mining businesses have to do to get guaranteed supplies of electricity, is to pay in foreign currency.
Exporting mining firms can also enter into foreign currency payments arrangements with ZETDC on a back-to-back arrangement with regional utilities to enable the utility to secure more imports.
One of the reasons why the economy is faltering is because of a constant negative balance of payments. This has resulted in a chronic shortage of foreign currency and spiralling inflation. Zimbabwe is importing more than it exports making it a consuming economy.
If mining companies fail to export it will worsen our economic situation. This will mean a wider balance of payments deficit.
Can households pay in foreign currency too?
Probably not. Most mines have their own substations which makes it possible to implement this arrangement. Households share substations making it impossible to switch off those who don’t pay in foreign currency.