South Africa’s Eskom Begins 400MW Power Supply to Zimbabwe

South African utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. began exports of up to 400 megawatts into Zimbabwe on Friday, easing a protracted power crisis characterized by daily outages lasting up to 18 hours.

State-owned Zesa Holdings expects a combination of lower demand and the additional supply to lead to Zimbabweans facing less time without electricity, spokesman Fullard Gwasira said by phone from the capital, Harare.

“We are currently receiving 400 megawatts from Eskom, most of our power stations are also running and the temperatures are also beginning to pick up and so some of the winter gadgets are beginning to be switched off,” Gwasira said.

Eskom, based in Johannesburg, said it’s started a so-called discretionary supply of 50 megawatts and will increase that if and when capacity allows.

“All conditions precedent have been met and we will supply in accordance with the contract we have in place,” Eskom’s spokeswoman, Dikatso Mothae, said in a text message.

Zimbabwe Minister Approves Five-Fold Increase in Power Tariffs

Zimbabwe owes Eskom $23 million in unpaid bills and its Treasury has committed to weekly payments of $890,000 to clear the debt.