Search

 

Cablegate: Increasing South African Leverage Over Zimbabwe

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HARARE 000675

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/S
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER
USDOC FOR 2037 DIEMOND
PASS USTR ROSA WHITAKER
TREASURY FOR ED BARBER AND C WILKINSON
STATE PASS USAID FOR MARJORIE COPSON

E. O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EINV ETRD ZI
SUBJECT: Increasing South African Leverage over Zimbabwe
in Electrical Power

Ref: a) Harare 79 b) Harare 643 c) Harare 489

1. (SBU) Summary: Zimbabwe's growing dependence on South
African energy - and diminishing ability to pay for it -
renders the southern neighbor infinite leverage here.
End Summary.

2. (U) Domestic power generation is in shambles, mostly
due to coal-miner Wankie Colliery's dilapidated state
(refs a/b). Depending on the source, Zimbabwe now
imports 40 percent of its electrical energy. Reportedly,
60 percent of these imports come from power giant ESKOM,
and the remainder from Mozambique's Cahora Bassa, the
DRC's SNEL and Zambia's ZESCO. If these numbers are
correct, ESKOM now supplies 24 percent of Zimbabwe's
power.

3. (U) Regional energy companies, and especially Cahora
Bassa, have cut exports to an increasingly delinquent
Zimbabwe. As a result, most Zimbabwean industries have
begun to suffer power rationing. While not yet as
critical as the ongoing fuel and food crises, company
reps tell us the energy crisis is becoming worse each
day. GOZ attempts to persuade exporters to pay in U.S.
dollars have made no impact (ref c).

Comment
-------
4. (SBU) We understand parastatal ESKOM has been more
timid than other power companies in coaxing the insolvent
GOZ to address arrears and has thus far maintained its
power supply at near normal levels. It is not clear to
us what signals the RSA has been sending to ESKOM, but
its adoption of a position paralleling that of Cahora
Bassa would have a major effect here. Purely on economic
grounds, however, we suspect ESKOM's magnanimity has its
limits, although we defer to Pretoria for more nuanced
insight. Unless the GOZ reassesses policies that are
obliterating Wankie and many other companies, a more
severe energy shortfall is likely.

Sullivan

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Myanmar: UN Condemns Escalating Violence In Deadliest Day Of Protests So Far

In response to the killing of at least 18 protesters demonstrating against Myanmar’s military coup, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) on Sunday together with the UN chief, strongly condemned the “escalating violence” and called for an immediate end to the use of force... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>