Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
INVESTORS who will participate in the generation of solar power in the country are set to enjoy a five-year tax holiday with those importing gadgets used for generating solar exempted from paying customs duty.
Zimbabwe doesn’t have enough electricity to cover the entire country hence the need for alternative forms of energy like solar power.
The country requires an additional 9 000MW to support economic activities that will drive the country towards achieving an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
The country’s demand for power hovers around 2 000MW. However, due to ageing equipment, existing power plants are generating far below the national requirement.
Responding to questions in Senate last Thursday, Energy and Power Development Minister Zhemu Soda said it is not possible to connect every area to the national grid because of inadequate electricity to cover the whole country.
“Alternative forms of energy like solar power should also be utilised like we have a lot of sunlight which can generate power. It is important that we have investors or people who will invest in the generation of solar power, and Government is going to give incentives to investors who want to participate in the generation of solar,” he said.
“This can be done by local people or other businesses which might decide to import gadgets used for generating solar duty free.”
Minister Soda said Government is also determined that those who are going to come to do different activities in Zimbabwe can be given “five years of tax holiday”.
“Whatever they are going to generate during those five years, they are not obligated to pay tax to Government. This is done to motivate those who want to invest in the generation of solar energy so that the solar grids can be linked to the national grid,” he said.
“However, we discovered that it is not possible to connect every area to the national grid because we do not have adequate electricity to cover the whole country.”
The Minister said Government is also targeting different corners of the country so that Hwange and Kariba Power Stations can reach out to these areas.
He said the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has started several projects in different provinces targeting rural ones.
“As I am talking, there are a number of projects being done by REA to install new solar systems ones to better those that were installed from 2005 to 2015. We have 400 solar units that have deteriorated in terms of electricity generation and REA was tasked to make sure that such stations begin to generate power,” said Minister Soda.
“This is what Government is doing to ensure that every area has access to electricity.” — @mashnets