‘City Power does not seem to have enough parts’ – Nicole van Dyk

‘City Power does not seem to have enough parts’ – Nicole van Dyk

With the City of Joburg facing electricity supply issues regularly, City Power is at a crossroads with finding solutions to the current problem and living up to its name.

Ward 99 councillor Nicole van Dyk said keeping the power on as long as possible had been difficult and that the bulk of the problem was due to ageing infrastructure.

A large number of the suburbs in her ward dated back to the ‘60s and there had been few upgrades which put pressure on the grids, she said.

Most of the problems were due to cable faults.

“There are a lot of old cables and some of them were not installed properly,” she said.

“City Power does not seem to have enough parts to assist … this dates back to last year.”

Van Dyk said it had taken days to receive parts from City Power, which had resulted in outages which took almost seven days to repair.

The state City Power was in, reflected how the issues would not be fixed any time soon.

This is the constant, we need to drive deeply in what needs to be done. We now have to take over a very broke system and try fixing it exceptionally fast,” she said.

Van Dyk added that residents should be encouraged to switch off their major appliances, especially during load shedding, because a lot of power surges were formed by the excessive use of electricity which then tripped the substations.

“People may think a trip is similar to what is found in homes, like a DB [distribution] board but it is not that.

“It can take hours to establish where the trip comes from – and it is important that residents switch off their appliances and try to switch them back on only after 20 minutes after their last round of load shedding,” she said.

The Eldorado Park substation was gutted by fire last Friday and City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena said yesterday repair work went according to plan, power to the suburbs it services would be restored soon.

City Power fire
Eldorado Park substation fire. Photo: Supplied

Mangena said some parts of Johannesburg had been left without power due to the blaze.

“We remain hopeful repairs will be done and power restored by Wednesday, if all goes according to plan,” he said.

“We appeal for patience and cooperation from residents while we work on repairs.

“We apologise for the inconvenience this is causing to the livelihoods, businesses and lives of residents,” he said.

Mangena added the fire had damaged one transformer and a second one affected by the heat would be tested.

He said the control room had also been damaged by the blaze.

“We are worried about the increase in vandalism and theft of infrastructure in and around Eldorado Park while we are busy with repairs at the substation,” he said.

“We appeal to residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious movement around electricity infrastructure.”

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