Zambia’s energy minister Dora Siliya earlier this week met with South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma at his Mahlamba Ndlopfu residence in Pretoria and is believed to have made a special request on behalf of the Zambian government to import up to 300 megawatts of electricity to help ease Zambia’s energy problems. She also held a separate meeting with South Africa’s Minister of Energy Ms. Tina Joemat-Pettersson on the same issue.
Zambia produces about 2,200 megawatts of electricity mainly from its hydro-powered stations but the power is erratic and not sufficient to power Zambia’s mining industry. A drought across the region has made things worse as low water levels have seriously hampered energy output.
In October last year, Zambia had a power deficit of 700 MW prompting Siliya to declare it a national problem. “Clearly, the power deficit that the country is experiencing at the moment, the 700 mega watts deficit, this is not just a government problem. To me, this is a national problem, it is a national emergency and as such, we all have a role to play in trying to address this matter and reduce the deficit,” Siliya said.