The Redcliff Town Council says it has paid over ZWL$469 000 to the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority to install a transformer and meter dedicated to its water pumping system.
The town has been receiving its water through power from ZISCO, and the switching off of the steel company in November last year over a ZW$40m electricity debt caused water shortages to the town.
The sharing of the power source between the town council and ZISCO caused problems when settling the power bill to the electricity provider, according to a council official.
Redcliff Mayor Cllr Clayton Masiyatsva said the council last week paid the state power utility ZW$469 276, 92 to commence the process to separate the council`s power source from that of the steel company.
“We need a way forward to separate the electricity we use to pump water to residents in Redcliff and Torwood, so since ZESA finished work to reconnect power to ZISCO, ZISCO and council agreed that the meters used to gauge power consumption by council`s water pumps and ZISCO be separated and this is the process we were doing.”
ZISCO was recently reconnected to the grid following the government`s intervention in settling the debt to the power utility.
Following the reconnection exercise, Redcliff needed to have its own power source to prevent disputes over consumption bills, according to Masiyatsva.
“To be able to carry out this separation exercise, funds were needed to be paid by the council, hence last week we paid ZW$469 276, 92 for ZESA to start the job. We hope that the separation of meters would be completed,” Masiyatsva said.
The mayor said the council could no longer “hide behind” ZISCO for failing to pump water and it now directly dealt with ZESA over electricity bills and debt issues.
“What this now means is that if we hid behind ZISCO on the electricity debt, we now have to deal with ZESA directly on any arising issues. We now expect that residents pay the bills to ZESA accrued from pumping water,” he said.
Masiyatsva said the council was using 200 litres of diesel per day to pump water to residents, and this was very costly for the local authority. He also appealed to residents to pay their bills for the council to continue supplying water to residents in Redcliff and Torwood.
Redcliff gets its water from Kwekwe and the town Council has been working on establishing its own water treatment and pumping plant. Kwekwe City Council in December threatened to disconnect Redcliff over a huge water bill.