ZESCO not following their loadshedding schedule

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Zambians across the country have complained about the irregular disruption of electricity supply to their homes and businesses, accusing ZESCO of not following its own schedule for loadshedding.

But the Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ) says it is Happy with the way ZESCO is managing the power deficit situation in the country.

Initially, the power utility company announced that it will be cutting power for 4-hour periods daily and produced a schedule outlining all areas and time schedules.

However, after the implementation of the program, there have been numerous reports of electricity supply being disrupted for more than 7 hours in some areas.

In Chingola’s Chiwempala township, on June 5, electricity supply was cut at 06:00 am and only restored at 16:30 pm – a total of 10 hours 30 minutes, while Solwezi’s Kyawama township experienced a blackout of almost 8 hours on Wednesday.

And many Zambians have taken to social media to condemn ZESCO’s alleged non-adherence to their loadshedding schedule. When announcing the introduction of loadshedding, ZESCO Public Relations Manager Henry Kapata said the company will effect a four hour schedule and will come into effect on June 1.

Meanwhile several small business owners running salons, cash washes and restaurants have urged government to help reduce VAT on generators and other alternative energy sources so that business can be constant despite the power disruptions.

“Government must help us. They need to reduce import VAT on power generation systems so that many of us with small business can also afford to run even when there is loadshedding. Otherwise our businesses are so affected,” Cindy Nkhata, an entrepreneur at Ndola’s Masala Market complained.

But the Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ) has applauded ZESCO’s implementation of its load management program, calling it proactive.

In a statement, the EAZ said much as loadshedding is disruptive to operations of businesses, the approach ZESCO has taken will ensure that effects of predictable outages are managed appropriately.

“We the Economics Association of Zambia laud ZESCO for its proactive stance in managing the projected energy deficit across the sectors,” said EAZ Vice President Austin Mwape today. “We acknowledge the systemic effects of drought across the Southern African region as a consequence of climate change effects, resulting in below average rainfall in areas where the Zambezi and the Kafue rivers flow hence impacting power generation capacity negatively.”

Dr Mwape added: “Timely stakeholder engagement is a proactive step ZESCO has taken to enable for predictable business planning. This is a vivid attestation of the lessons learnt during the 2015/2016 energy deficit era. The engagement carried out by the power utility in Lusaka, and Copperbelt provinces will allow for predictable business planning across the industry, thereby enabling players to equip themselves with backup energy supplements.

“Much as a load management is disruptive to operations of businesses, the approach ZESCO has taken will ensure that effects of predictable outages are managed appropriately. We laud the collaborative efforts between ZESCO Ltd and the Zambezi River Authority – ZARAO which have resulted in a well-structured schedule of load management. The openness in information dissemination will curb speculation thereby managing uncertainty better.”

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31