Mozambique’s minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Pedro Couto, on Thursday denied a claim by the former rebel movement Renamo that electricity is cheaper in South Africa than in Mozambique because power from the Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi is sold far too cheaply to South Africa.
Speaking in the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, during a question and answer session between the deputies and the government, Couto said that the total amount of power generated in the SADC (Southern African Development Community) region was 55,000 megawatts.
Of this, 43,000 megawatts (almost 80 per cent) was generated inside South Africa. South Africa’s imports of electricity from Mozambique (mostly from Cahora Bassa) account for under three per cent of the total power consumed in South Africa. It was thus impossible, Couto said, for the price charged for Cahora Bassa power to have a determinant impact on the final price paid by South African electricity consumers.
The reason why electricity is cheaper in South Africa than in Mozambique, he argued, is because South Africa is an industrial country which uses large amounts of power at high and medium voltage. In Mozambique, on the other hand, 98 per cent of consumers are domestic, using power at low voltage.