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African hydro developments

The Zimbabwe government has secured US$40M to develop two dams in the country, according to the Deputy Minister of Rural Resources and Water Development, Cde Cain Mathema.

Mathema said that the money from the Russian government will be used for the development of Gwayi-Umguza dam in Matabeleland North and Munde dam in Mashonaland East province. In 1999, a Russian company was reported to have shown interest in the construction of dams in Matabeleland which will be used to address the region’s water problems.

Meanwhile, the Presidents from Mozambique and South Africa, Joaquim Chissano and Thabo Mbeki, have met in Maputo to discuss the price of electricity supplied to South Africa from the Cahora Bassa hydro power plant in Mozambique. ESKOM, the South African electricity company, is insisting that it will pay no more than the price negotiated in 1988. But the operator of the plant, HCB claims that this is completely unrealistic and out-of-date. HCB wants a 50% increase in tariffs.