City to deal with hadeda outages

2014-01-29 00:00

THE days of major power outages in Pietermaritzburg caused by hadedas may soon be over.

The ownership of a pylon that has not been bird-proofed and which has been causing all the problems has been solved.

It belongs to Msunduzi Municipality, which has the responsibility to fix it.

Two weeks ago, the city suffered a major black-out with power outages in several suburbs. It was established then that the outage was caused by a hadeda that had flown into a pylon in the Woodhouse Road area that had not been bird-proofed.

This was not the first time, with at least two other incidents previously — the last major mishap in June 2011.

In both instances the electrocuted hadeda with the faulty pylon featured in photographs on the front page of The Witness.

The Witness asked Eskom why it had not fixed the faulty pylon and the power utility said it would investigate.

Msunduzi electricity department, with new management at the helm, said they were not aware of the problem and asked for the contact details of Professor Mark Laing on whose property the pylon stands.

Eskom has since responded to The Witness with spokesperson Joyce Zingoni saying they had verified that the pylon did not belong to Eskom, but to the Msunduzi Municipality.

Zingoni said they had gone onto Laing’s property and checked and the labelling on the pylons suggested it was a link between the Riverside and Mkondeni sub-stations.

Yesterday, Msunduzi spokesperson Brian Zuma confirmed the pylons were part of the city’s electricity infrastructure.

Zuma said work had been suspended there for some technical reasons.

“Our electricity department is working on a plan to sort out the problem once and for all, with minimum distractions to consumers,” he said.

For property owner Laing, this cannot be soon enough.

He said it was not just the deaths of the hadedas or the loud explosion each time a bird flew into the pylon which was concerning, but the millions of rands lost in production to the major industrial areas of Willowton and Mkondeni each time there was an outage.

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