Workers at the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) issued a notice on Thursday, June 13, to go on industrial action from Monday, June 16, after negotiations on wage increases failed. The strike comes at a time when ZESA has increased load-shedding with some areas reportedly going for 20 hours without power. The workers said they would work for only two days between June 17 and 23 and threatened to go on full-scale industrial action after this date. Significant disruptions to electricity supply, along with disruptions to small and medium-sized businesses across the country are likely during the strike. Associated protests are also possible in the coming days and weeks.
The load shedding program introduced by the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission & Distribution Company (ZETDC) introduced a load shedding program on May 13 and it is unclear how long the program will last. Under the program, rolling blackouts are scheduled to take place during peak periods between 05:00-10:00 (local time) and 17:00-22:00. A complete schedule of the rolling blackouts can be found on the ZETDC website.
According to the ZETDC, the country is experiencing a power shortfall due to low water levels at the Karbia Power Station and limited power imports.
Individuals in Zimbabwe are advised to monitor developments, keep battery-operated devices fully charged when possible, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, exercise caution when driving or crossing streets if traffic signals are not functioning, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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