He also promised tax rebates to companies that provide their employees with solar power at their homes.
Writing in his weekly column in the Sunday Mail, Mnangagwa reiterated his mantra: ”Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo.” but added: “No problem is beyond solution where there is strong national resolve. We will overcome the temporary energy challenge we currently face.”
Mnangagwa said the government and the private sector must now begin a conversation on what, together, they need to do to step up investments in renewables.
“We have enough sunshine; we have enough land for solar farms. We must now move together, in concert, so we step up investments in energy. We now all know and appreciate the costs that come with power shortages,” he said.
“We have a blueprint which targets households to run on solar, so we remove them from the national grid. In Government, we are already incorporating solar systems in packages which public servants enjoy. Such employer-assisted interventions, across the sectors, will see us speedily migrating more households to solar.
“I, thus, call upon both public and private sectors to take this on board as a condition of service. Where an employer does that, some kind of carbon credit must redound to him by way of tax rebates. This, surely, can be worked out by our fiscal authorities. After all, this is far cheaper than importing more power, including for use by households.”
Mnagagwa said there was an urgent need to seek alternative sources of energy because the current water shortage in the Kariba, which led to power from the dam being reduced to only 300 megawatts, was likely to last until April.
Kariba supplies half the country’s power needs.
Until now, many in our society thought climate change was merely academic. Not any more after the decision last week by the Zambezi River Authority to drastically limit power generation at Kariba.
We are down to a mere 300 megawatts. Like us, Zambia, our neighbour and partner on Lake Kariba, has had to reduce generation, and will embark on load shedding. Live water levels in the Lake have fallen precipitously, leaving us reeling from severe power deficits, at the very least between now and April, when we hope the water level will begin to rise again. The frequency of falling water levels in the lake is increasing, showing our region is clearly getting less and less rainfall because of El Niño and climate change.
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