BULAWAYO residents have raised concerns over the increase in unscheduled load-shedding that has virtually plunged the city into darkness.
The massive power cuts that range from between seven and 12 hours a day are no longer following the load-shedding timetable Zesa released to the city’s residents.
“The sudden increase in load-shedding is now out of hand and unbearable. We sometimes go for more than seven hours without electricity every day,” Memory Chakanaka of Emganwini suburb said.
Chakanaka said it was unreasonable for residents to buy prepaid electricity, but still find themselves spending longer hours in the dark than when power was still post-paid.
Luveve resident Jeffrey Ndlovu said the power cuts “have seen us falling into unnecessary expenses”.
“We are now forced to buy firewood, candles and paraffin on a regular basis and we are failing to meet such extra expenses,” he said.
Danny Gwebu of Hillside said Zesa had made urban dwellers feel as though they were now living in the rural areas.
“These power cuts are making us feel as though we are living in the rural areas because we are no longer using electrical gadgets,” he said.
“We have them, but it is as good as though we don’t have them,” Gwebu added that the constant power cuts were damaging their electrical gadgets and causing an increase in the number of houses burning down every day.
Pumula resident Lucy Ncube said life had become expensive as she was being forced to buy perishables on a daily basis because of the increasing power cuts.
“It’s cheaper to buy in bulk, but because of the power cuts, we have to buy meat and vegetables on a daily basis and it is just unaffordable,” Ncube said.
Some residents said the power cuts were short-changing residents due to their haphazardness.
The residents cited customers who subscribe to pay-per-view satellite television DStv saying they pay full subscription, but cannot enjoy full access as a result of the blackouts.
In an interview with Southern Eye, Zesa public relations manager Fullard Gwasira said: “We are having challenges in terms of electricity supply. It is a technical fault, but the guys at Zesa are working on.”