14 June 2019

South Africa: Kempton Park Update - Power Back By Midday, Barring Unforeseen Problems

The end may finally be in sight for some Kempton Park residents who have been without power since Saturday.

Electricity supply to parts of Kempton Park was completely cut off following a blast at the Glen Marais substation on Saturday, News24 reported.

Since then, the City has been battling to restore power to all affected suburbs.

Initially, the City indicated that power would be fully restored by Wednesday at 18:00, but postponed it to 22:00, and then to the following day.

By Friday, some areas were still left without electricity.

End in sight

City of Ekurhuleni energy department head Mark Wilson told News24 on Friday that the end was in sight following a series of unforeseen problems encountered during restoration attempts.

"We were probably over-optimistic earlier. If nothing else goes wrong, power should be completely restored by midday [on Friday]," Wilson said.

According to Wilson, a fire at the substation caused a circuit breaker to explode. An entire 25-panel switchboard was destroyed, he said.

"This was because of cable theft," Wilson said earlier.

According to Wilson, power to most areas had been restored by Wednesday evening.

"But due to the high load, we couldn't restore power to all customers because we only had one half of the switchboard completed.

"Normally one could carry the entire load using that half, in summer, for example. So we thought we might be able to carry it, but we couldn't.

Faults resolved

"We've managed to complete the rest of the switchboard yesterday and last night, but when we started doing the testing to switch on power we found a few faults in the cable rings, which caused further delays."

Wilson said the faults have since been resolved. "We now have to phase in loading of the transformer so it will take up to around midday to get power to the remaining areas, barring any further problems."

Wilson added that delays had been caused by several unforeseen problems, which impacted estimated restoration times given to the public.

"We are still worried that there could be cable faults. A lot of these cables took some stress following the explosion. So some of them could fail once we start restoring power. We have already fixed a few of them, so at the moment we are set to start phasing in the power.

"I know it's been frustrating. Six days without power in winter is not pleasant," Wilson said.

Source: News24

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