Power boost for Zimbabwe

Construction of the multi-million 1 000km-long 400-kilovolt powerline from Mozambique through Zimbabwe to South Africa, a major integral part of the Southern African Power Pool (Sapp), is expected to start anytime soon.

In Zimbabwe, the line will link Mutare and Beitbridge via Chiredzi and Mwenezi, where a number of sub-stations will be built on its path.

Villagers with homes along the planned line route, which will be 60 metres wide, will be relocated and fully compensation.

A senior Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company official on Thursday said the project, dubbed Mozisa, after the first two letters of the names of the three States involved, will create many downstream jobs for locals.

Ikhupukeng Dube, the systems planner for the power utility, said numerous other community upliftment and social service projects would be funded during construction.

The African Development Bank, which funded the construction of the Plumtree-Mutare Highway, will play a leading financial role.

“We are currently on the environmental and social assessment plan and we will involve communities and stakeholders in whose areas the line will pass,” Dube said.

He said women would get between 40 and 60% of the jobs created during construction, whose cost is $500 000 per kilometre.

He was speaking to stakeholders in Beitbridge, whose initial anger at his late arrival were drowned in dreams of how they would benefit from the massive project.

He explained how Zimbabwe, as a landlocked nation, will benefit financially from transmission of power from major producers South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as Sapp, formed in the mid-1990s, advances to realise regional co-operation in the electricity sector.

“We will rehabilitate networks, since you know some infrastructure has outlived its lifespan by up to 35 years or more,” Dube said.

Source: NewsDay

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