Boitumelo Makhurane, Chronicle Reporter
PARTS of the Bulawayo central business district and some suburbs have gone for more than 24 hours without electricity following a fault at a Zesa substation at the Belmont industrial area on Monday evening.
Zesa Acting Western Region General Manager Engineer Lloyd Jaji said a Zimbabwe Electrical Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) team was working flat out to fix the problem and restore power.
“The loss of power supplies has been caused by technical faults that have affected the Belmont substation and the ZETDC technical team is working flat out to restore supplies to the affected consumers. Power supplies will be restored as soon as the fault is sorted’’ said Eng Jaji.
The fault has also caused a blackout in residential areas such as Suburbs, Woodlands and some parts of Ilanda.
Engineer Jaji apologised for the interruption of power supply in the affected areas.
“Customers will be updated as the situation improves and the inconvenience caused is sincerely regretted,” said Eng Jaji.
The fault has affected business operations in the city center while some companies used generators as an alternative.
Mr Eric Zhou who owns Com Space Internet café said he could not offer usual services to his customers.
“We have been hit hard. This is where we get our day-to-day fares for transport and we are living from hand to mouth. Today it was just a wasted day as we could not render any services to our customers. The situation is critical because of these power cuts,” he said.
Informal business operators have also said they were losing customers because of the power cut
‘’The power cut has inconvenienced our business. For instance, today(yesterday) I ended up losing many customers due to power cut,” said Mr Babongile Nyoni who operates a Barber shop.
Ms Debrah Maphosa from Mr Chips food outlet said the power cut seriously affected them as business was slow and could not constantly prepare food for our customers.
“We were seriously affected by the power cuts as we could not meet to our customers’ demands. We could not prepare our usual meals because of the power cuts,” she said.
Since the onset of the rainy season, power cuts have increased throughout the city resulting in residents going for hours without electricity.
The power outages being experienced in parts of Bulawayo and the southern region have also been attributed to rampant vandalism and theft of electricity infrastructure.