LUSAKA, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Zambian government said on Friday that it has not commenced power importation from South Africa because it has not fully paid the amount asked by that country's power utility.
Zambia was supposed to have started importing about 300 megawatts of electricity from South Africa last month to offset a power deficit.
Answering questions from lawmakers in parliament who wanted to know when Zambia will start receiving electricity from South Africa, Vice-President Inonge Wina said 11.6 million U.S. dollars has so far been paid to ESKOM, the South African power utility.
She said the government was still mobilizing resources to pay the outstanding amount of about 40 million dollars.
The Zambian vice-president further said a team of technocrats has traveled to South Africa to finalize the electricity importation bill.
Zambia is currently facing a power deficit of about 700 megawatts due to reduced generation in its hydro power plants caused by poor rains.
The country's power utility is currently implementing a 15-hour power cut rotational program.