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Zimbabwe's Electrical Authority Reduces Power Transmissions - 2003-03-28

Zimbabwe's electrical authority says it has to reduce power transmissions because it no longer has enough foreign currency to pay for imported electricity. The power cuts are a further blow to Zimbabwe's struggling economy.

Officials of Zimbabwe's electrical authority say they will shortly have to make power cuts that will further affect the country's plummeting economy.

Zimbabwe has in recent years been importing increasing volumes of electricity from Mozambique and South Africa, and suppliers in these countries are now demanding payment. South Africa's electricity supplier has extended its credit to Zimbabwe far beyond its normal tolerance.

Zimbabwe's own electrical resources have been undermined over the last two years by breakdowns at the main coal powered generators.

Few companies in Zimbabwe are working at full capacity. Business leaders say those that remain open are working at about half to two-thirds of normal capacity, and power cuts will further reduce their viability.

Evidence of the Zimbabwe's economic crisis is visible everywhere. Few vehicles are on the road this week because there is almost no fuel in Zimbabwe. As with electricity, the government cannot import any fuel because it doesn't have any reserves of foreign currency.