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Zimbabwe fires up new coal unit to ease power cuts


Harare - Zimbabwe's power utility company has launched a new 300-megawatt coal-fired unit with Chinese finance to try to ease repeated power outages the country has faced for years.

The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), said electricity started entering the national grid late on Monday from the unit at Hwange Power Station in the north-west.

"Power will be progressively fed into the grid until it reaches 300MW," the company said.

The company plans to open a second unit in October to boost production by 600MW.

The two units will cost $1.4 billion, with 85% of the cost financed by China's state-run Sinohydro.

The southern African country is reeling under severe power shortages with not less than 16 hours daily load shedding which has crippled businesses and left households stranded.

Zimbabwe has long battled with outages but the problem has worsened in recent months with its main supply, a hydro plant at the giant Kariba Dam in the north, struggling with very low water levels caused by recurring droughts.

The hydro-electric hydro plant at the Kariba Dam, has been struggling with low water levels caused by recurring droughts. File picture: Philimon Bulawayo/ REUTERS

In December, power cuts were extended to up to 19 hours a day.

Hwange is the country's largest coal-powered power station but it is currently operating at below half capacity due to poor maintenance.

The nation generates less than half of its 1,700 MW power demand for a population of 16 million.

Zimbabwe has been in economic crisis for more than 20 years. Electricity, fuel, food and medicines are all in short supply amid galloping inflation.



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Business & Finance

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By Reza Hendrickse and Prieur du Plessis The more things change, the more they stay the same. For investors, with 2020 still fresh in their minds, this year has been yet another case in point. With so much having changed this year, it is easy to believe we’ve entered a new paradigm. But although much has changed, the future is no less certain than it was a year, or two, or even ten years ago. Investing today is equally challenging, because we’re still looking to make portfolio decisions in hig..
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Quick recipes to make before load shedding strikes


Have you been giving out a collective sigh whenever load shedding hits?

And have you ever wondered what to eat when there is no electricity, or googled load shedding dinner ideas?

Instead of going hungry, or making the regrettable decision of ordering takeaways, try these recipes that will curb those cravings.

Avocado smoothie bowl. Picture: Supplied

Avocado smoothie bowl


1 avocado

½ cup spinach

1 tsp chia seeds

1 tsp honey

2 dates

Almond milk


Blend everything together.

Add enough milk for consistency.

Serve chilled.

Tabbouleh and falafel salad. Picture: Supplied

Tabbouleh and falafel salad



1 cup bulgur wheat, soaked in boiling water and strained.

A handful of mint, dhania, and parsley

¼ cucumber, cubed

¼ red pepper, cubed

¼ red onion, finely cubed


1 tin chickpeas

Handful of dhania

¼ cup flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ onion

Salt and pepper for seasoning


Mix all salad ingredients together.

Dress with olive oil, salt, pepper, and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Top with falafel and serve at room temperature.

To make falafel: Mix all ingredients together and deep fry.

Recipes by the Chilli Chocolate Chefs.

Fattoush salad. Picture: Supplied

Fattoush salad

Serves: 2


2 tomatoes, chopped into chunks

¼ cucumber, deseeded and sliced

½ red onion, sliced

1 small head of romaine lettuce, shredded

A handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped

A handful of parsley leaves, roughly chopped

2 pitta breads

1 tsp sumac

For the dressing

½ garlic clove, crushed

2 tbs red wine vinegar

1 tbs extra virgin olive oil

Juice ½ lemon


Toss together all the salad ingredients except for the pitta bread and sumac. Make up the dressing and season to taste. Leave these separate until just before serving.

Next toast the pitta bread on a braai, until lightly golden (can be used without toasting). When cool, tear it into pieces and combine it with the salad and dressing. Spoon into two serving dishes and sprinkle over the sumac.

No cook spicy bean and vegetable open wraps. Picture: Supplied

No cook spicy bean and vegetable open wraps

Serves: 4


2 x 180g tubs of marinated chargrilled vegetables (available at local supermarkets)

2 x 400g cans of butter beans, drained and rinsed

200g tub tomato salsa

2 limes, zested and juiced

1 tbs red wine vinegar

2-3 tbs chopped red chillies, plus extra to serve

Small bunch of coriander, chopped, plus extra, shredded, to serve

2 ripe avocados, stoned and diced

1 small garlic clove, finely grated

1 small red onion. Finely chopped and rinsed

8 medium soft flour tortillas

100ml soured cream or double-thick yoghurt, to serve

Salad leaves, to serve


To make the filling mix, tip the drained marinated veg into a bowl with the beans. Stir in 2 tbs salsa, half the lime zest and juice, the vinegar, onion, chillies, and half the coriander. Set the mixture aside.

Put the avocado in another bowl with the remaining lime zest and juice and the garlic. Roughly mash everything together with a fork, then season and stir through the remaining coriander.

Spread the crushed avocado mixture over the tortillas, then top with the fajita mix, remaining salsa, soured cream or yoghurt, extra chillies and extra coriander. Serve with salad leaves lightly tossed in olive oil.

Recipes from chefs Asif Mughal and Ofentse Morake.

Read the latest issue of IOL Food digital magazine here.

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