National News

Power cuts hit hotels

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Major hotels are facing the risk of closing down as the power utility, ZESA, dithers on addressing faults that have kept the tourism facilities off for months.

One of the major hotels in the internationally acclaimed resorts, Leopard Rock, has been forced to cancel their Valentine’s Day programmes due to the power crisis that they say has gone for close to two months.

The hotel has been forced off the grid by ZESA and authorities say they have been left with no choice but to close shop.

Company officials said their initial strategy to use generators has proven to be unstrategic as they have been encountering faults and forced to move guests to a different section of the hotel because of the failure of the 200 KVA machine.

The use of generators has also proven costly to the company as they were last year forced to use over 120 000 litres of fuel to power the facility.

While the companies affected accused ZESA of failure to address their problem, the power utility however, confirmed a fault that has affected a hotel and leisure business in that location.

“ZESA said 1.5km of 11km line feeding of the said area was stolen and the area experienced numerous faults caused by heavy rains where 12 poles fell and are requiring replacement.

“Areas that are affected by this fault include Vumba, Burma Valley, Fern Valley, and Zimunya. There was also another case of vandalism of a transformer in Vumba which led to the arrest of two men from Odzi and are now appearing before the criminal courts,” the power utility said.

The company said vandalism has become a menace and the utility is battling to keep up with the replacement of stolen power lines and transformers.

In 2023 alone, the firm said, a total of 1569 cases of vandalism and theft were reported, and of these cases, 172 arrests were made, and 33 cases were convicted.

“The ZETDC urges all stakeholders to join forces to protect electrical infrastructure as there have been numerous efforts to resolve the issue and the utility has managed to source the critical materials to re-power the affected areas back.”

The power crisis that has rocked resorts, observers say, is a danger to the government effort to market local and international tourism.

This, observers say, has put the government #Uripi initiative in jeopardy amid calls for the power utility to immediately address the challenges.

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