Business Development

Additional vehicles to resource ZETDC operations

Handover of ZETDC vehicles

Availing more vehicles and work equipment to the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) is part of the power utility’s initiatives to resource its operations and customer service centres across the country, the Chairman of ZESA Holdings, Engineer Dr. Sydney Gata has said.

Dr. Gata made the remarks at the ZETDC Vehicle Handover Ceremony at ZESA Enterprises today 26 July 2022.

“Our objectives are in line with Vision 2030 and the National Development Strategies 1 and 2, which emphasise the need to bridge the electricity access gap, improvement in service delivery, grid reinforcement projects, and total electrification amongst other initiatives.

“As you might be aware last year His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr. Emmerson Mnangagwa launched the ZESA retooling initiative, where he official presided over the handover of the first batch of the operational fleet,” Dr. Gata said.

He revealed that ZETDC has a gap of 2000 vehicles to reach the optimal fleet size. Most vehicles in the existing fleet have reached the end of life. As a short-term strategy, ZETDC has been hiring vehicles from individuals.

In the 2022 procurement plan, ZETDC targeted to procure at least one thousand (1000) various operational vehicles distributed as follows:

DescriptionQuantity
2 x 4 One Ton326
4 X 4 One Ton505
8 Ton 4x 2 trucks78
30 Seater Buses25
5 Seater SUV50
8 Ton 8 x4 C/W Auger30
8 Ton 4 x 2 Trucks60
Toyota Landcruiser10
Grand Total 1084
  

 

To augment its strategy, ZETDC has incorporated requirements for additional vehicles to spearhead ZESA/REG project. This is a project it has partnered with its counterparts from the Rwanda Energy Group (REG) whereupn the nation will soon be advised on. The ZESA REG relationship will see 280 vehicles being procured for various projects including access projects, grid reinforcement, and smart metering projects.

 

Furthermore, the power utility continues to focus on Excellent Customer Experience and Enhanced Operational efficiency as evidenced by the fact that ZETDC operations had been affected by a lack of adequate cable fault location equipment. As a result, there have been challenges in timely rectifying faults as regions shared the limited cable fault location equipment.

 

Due to the cash flow challenges that continue to be exacerbated by the non-cost reflective tariff, the business could not timely implement the supply and delivery of cable fault location equipment. ZETDC was able to secure funding from Afreximbank to the tune of USD188 million. Part of the funding was channeled towards the procurement of cable fault location equipment.

 

Dr. Gata said the objective of procuring the operational vehicles is to improve project implementation and fault attendance turnaround time as business is centred on customer centricity. Furthermore, from an industrial relations perspective, providing adequate resources improves employee engagement and motivation.

Some of the ZETDC operational vehicles

 

To this end, ZETDC has awarded contracts for the delivery of 589 vehicles during the first half of 2022 and will continue to look for resources until the target has been met.

 

“As of today, we have received 30 operational vehicles and 2 personal issues vehicles for our Engineers as per the contractual obligations. Seven (7) lorries are already in Harare undergoing pre-delivery inspection. We expect delivery of 8 more lorries in Sep 2022. Despite our efforts to fast-track delivery of all the required vehicles, the process has been affected by the shortage of chips in the global market due to the Russia-Ukraine war. Negotiations are in progress with the various suppliers to prioritize vehicles for ZETDC. We have a tender that is currently running for an additional 500 operational vehicles.

“Today we gather here as I proudly handover the following:

 

 

 

 

Vehicles Handed Over

DescriptionDelivered
4 X 4 One Ton20
8 Ton 4x 2 trucks10
2.8 GD6 4×42
Crane Truck (Alaska-Karoi Project)1
1 ton truck (Alaska-Karoi Project)2
Grand Total35

 

“We are also handing over five (5) cable fault location equipment as we wait for the other four (4) cable fault location equipment which will arrive next week after completion of the importation processes. Recently the company embarked on a load curtailment exercise as a result of a myriad of issues ranging from depressed local generation, increased demands due to winter wheat, and constraints in importing electricity from the region. Today we have embarked on various migratory measures to address the current electricity challenges.”

 

Mitigatory Measures

 

  1. ZESA has secured 300MW firm power from EDM, HCB, Eskom, and ZESCO.
  2. Facilitated the creation of the Intensive Energy Users Group (IEUG) which is meant to procure own power requirements from the region and from local supplies. This is meant to remove the pressure and risk of securing power from ZESA.
  • ZESA continues to engage relevant government ministries to have ZESA capacitated to raise foreign currency to pay for imports as we need usd 17million monthly for this.
  1. Continues to engage relevant government ministries and the Regulator to have ZESA capacitated to maintain a cost reflective tariff and also maintain the same. This will allow ZESA to pay for its obligations and not accumulate debt and in the process become credible.
  2. The Hwange 7 and 8 extension project progress is going on well and will add 600MW to the national grid once completed
  3. In as much as we try to capacitate the business, breakeven and deliver excellent quality service, we are owed USD 62million and ZWL 17billion by customers. We have since embarked on an aggressive debt collection blitz to recover what is owed to us. Just this past weekend we disconnected various defaulters. In line with our communication strategy, ZETDC will be publishing the updated load curtailment schedule and the power supply status updates to keep our clients informed and allow them to plan accordingly.

Engineer Howard Choga, the ZETDC Acting Managing Director took the opportunity to urge the power utility’s various regions who received these vehicles today to exercise due care to the hard-earned resources. He reminded them to bear in mind that the company exists to serve its customers with honesty and humility.

 

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende