Business Community Development

ZESA Power Outages Crippling Businesses, Communities


By Tatenda Mujeyi

The load shedding measures introduced by the power utility, ZESA, have left communities crippled as they can no longer go through their daily business efficiently.

The load shedding measures which have seen most neighbourhoods accessing electricity for 12 hours a day commenced last month following announcement that the water levels at Kariba could no longer sustain electricity production.

With Zimbabwe also experiencing fuel shortages the option to power through generators has been not so viable owing to the increases in fuel prices as well as unavailability.

Government has however sought to protect the economic interests through availing the much needed power to business hubs and cities.

The employees in the CBD and industrial hubs have not been spared at their working environments as they have had been inconvenienced in planning their daily routines to work.

“The power outage has affected our daily working routine as we have to prepare for work as early as 3am when there is electricity. Sometimes there is no electricity and you can’t get ready for work when it is this cold and there is no way to heat water,” Shingirai Ndira a civil servant said.

With the informal sector constituting a considerable percentage of Zimbabwe’s labour market, it has been the hardest hit as most of its industries are situated in the communities affected.

A survey by this publication realised that communities were heavily affected by the outages as they could not continue doing their businesses normally.

With load shedding mainly affecting homes the effects have been mostly health related owing to the challenges in food storage.

“The greatest challenge we have experienced has been in safe storage of our perishable food. The temperature changes as a result of power outages present potential health hazards for families and small businesses operating within communities who have no alternative power sources,” Mr Nemaunga, a business proprietor at Glen Norah B said.

The outages have also led to the unsustainable functioning of small scale manufacturing businesses which rely on power to produce their wares.

“The greatest challenge is that of power since load shedding commenced. One can no longer plan efficiently and the working timetables have had to change. Imagine on a day when power goes at 5am and comes back at 5pm, our normal working hours are affected,” Shiella Munzvero a beauty therapist at Glenview 1 shops said..

Government has however however promised that it is working around the clock to see to it that the situation returns to normal.

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende