23 March 2019

South Africa: 'Had My First Hot Water Shower Today and I Almost Cried' - Randburg Resident After 4 Days of No Power

Photo: Eskom
Eskom's national control centre (file photo).

After spending almost a week in the dark, residents of Darrenwood and surrounding areas of Randburg in Johannesburg are breathing a sigh of relief because their electricity has been restored.

The power in the area was cut on Sunday.

"I actually had my first hot water shower today and I almost cried," a relieved Esthe Pretorius told News24.

Pretorius said she had lost all the food in her fridge and had to start from scratch with frozen food.

She said the power cut also affected residents' alarm systems and gate motors.

"Since then, a lot of things happened that affects the rest of the neighbourhood. A Randburg substation went down. Last night [the] Beyers Naude [substation] went down. But that isn't the root of the problem for us. We went down days before them," said Pretorius.

She said after days of finger pointing between City Power and Eskom, the problem was finally resolved in her area.

City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena said the Randburg area has been experiencing technical problems with restoration after load shedding.

"We've had multiple failures due to restorations after load shedding. Most of our infrastructures failed during restorations and this includes the cables and some of the transformers tripping and that's why it was prolonging load shedding, so to say," Mangena said.

He said most of Eskom feeding substations also had issues and tripped, which did not help the situation as City Power relied on Eskom.

"We rely on Eskom. At some point, we had about 20 of them (feeding substations) that could not feed the areas that they were supposed to feed," said Mangena.

He added that it affected other areas, such as Cresta, Randpark Ridge and North Riding.

Mangena said they decided to restore the areas one at a time to avoid putting strain on the "already aged infrastructure".

He added that on Thursday there were still no power at substations that were supplying most of the areas in Randburg.

"Load shedding is costly to City Power because it puts a strain on the already old and aging infrastructure that we have in terms of our substation," Mangena said.

Mangena said some areas could not be restored because of cable theft.

"We have thieves who take advantage of the darkness and steal cables. When load shedding finishes and we try to restore, lights do not go on and when we check, we realise that there were cables stolen and we have to go find them (the cables). So it prolongs the whole thing around load shedding," he said.

Eskom implemented Stage 2 load shedding on Friday due to a shortage of capacity, the power utility said.

In a statement issued on Thursday evening, the power utility said Stage 2 load shedding would be implemented from 09:00 to 23:00.

Source: News24

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