You probably know, based on the country’s recent Eskom announcement at least, that countries often buy power from each other. You’ve perhaps also heard that Botswana has offered to sell South Africa some of its surplus. But other African neighbours might come off a little worse, according to Bloomberg.
Zimbabwe currently has deals with Mozambique and Zambia, purchasing power from those countries in order to bolster its power needs. But those contracts are coming up for renewal, and South Africa is jockeying for a slice of the power on offer.
Eskom goes hard
That’s according to Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) chairman Sydney Gata. Contracts with both Mozambique’s Electricidade de Mocambique and Zambia’s Zesco are due to end at the end of the month. Eskom… really wants to take them over, says Gata.
“Zesa now has up to July 31 to draw the supply or else the contracts will be cancelled and the supply re-allocated to other utilities. Zimbabwe will stand to lose heavily as these contracts are long term and at a competitive price.”
At the moment, Zimbabwe is having trouble paying Zambia the R100 million ($6.3 million) a month it’s supposed to for extra electricity. If Eskom can offer a better deal and manages to make its payments on time, South Africa could receive a speedy power boost. It would, however, put one of its closest neighbours in a sticky situation. But that’s how capitalism works, right?