Sharon Park electricity outages explained

Ward 88 councillor Wollaston Labuschagne was able to get an explanation about the frequent electricity outages in Sharon Park.

Residents in Sharon Park and Dunnottar regularly experience electricity outages, especially during inclement weather.

Wollaston Labuschagne, Ward 88 councillor, was able to get some answers for residents from the water, sanitation and energy councillor Tiisetso Nketle, on the cause of these outages.

Nketle says theft and vandalism on the Eskom equipment have been identified as main contributors of power outages.

Also read: DOWNLOAD: Metro provides damage claim form for residents after power outages

“The latest incident happened in November 2017 when Eskom transformers were damaged when their substation was vandalised.

“This, unfortunately, left Eskom only with an available 2.5MW capacity to supply the area.

“To ensure the consumers share the inconvenience during repairs, we implemented a four hours rotational load reduction as an interim measure.

“The other contributor to power outages, especially on rainy days, is lightning that strikes on the Eskom’s feeder overhead lines.”

Also read: Electricity box causes havoc in Lodeyko

To fix the problem permanently, Eskom has built a new secure substation to feed the areas.

The substation was completed in December 2017.

The first phase of the new substation was energised in the first week of January 2018 and the last phase is envisaged to be energised not later than March 2018.

When asked why it has taken so long to resolve the situation that has persisted for years, Nketle says, “Eskom performed intrusive maintenance and refurbishment work on their networks from December 2016.

“There has been notable improvement with power outages imposed by Eskom networks since December 2016.

“The performance of the electricity network in the area was improved and stable, until around the last quarter of 2017 when Eskom was hit by a spate of theft and vandalism incidents.

“Theft and vandalism on the Eskom infrastructure has contributed to a number of power outages experienced in the last quarter of 2017,” says Nketle.

The new secured substation forms part of resolving the theft and vandalism challenge while performance will also be enhanced through the new switch gear.

Sharon Park residents association chairman, Tony Dodd says, “I cannot say if the frequency of the outages has decreased because I haven’t had enough time to observe the situation.

“What I can say is that the other night when it rained, the power went around midnight and came back later.”

Labuschagne is hopeful that the situation would improve for residents in the near future.

Siphokazi Zama

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