Lights out for suburbs

2014-02-10 00:00

SOME Durban suburbs will be left in the dark for the better part of the week after a fire at the Rossburgh substation early yesterday morning caused extensive damage to the high-voltage plant at this substation.

Residents from Bayhead, Clairwood and parts of Rossburgh will find themselves reliant on alternative sources of light, as the eThekwini Metro warned that total restoration could only be completed by the end of the week.

They have also warned that businesses in the area will be affected.

Tozi Mthethwa, head of communications at the eThekwini Metro, said in a statement yesterday that the Electricity Unit reported a fire at the substation.

Staff members working at the substation noted the fire and raised the alarm.

“The fire department arrived at the scene immediately and extinguished the fire at approximately 7 am.

“Officials are presently on site to establish the extent of the damage and carry out reparation works to restore supply to the affected areas,” Mthethwa said.

She gave the assurance that the municipality will use all available resources and work continuously to repair the damaged plant in order to restore supply.

“They will use alternative feeds from the medium voltage network to carry out partial restoration to some areas, but at this stage, it is anticipated that total restoration may only be achieved sometime before the end of the week.”

By late yesterday afternoon, the municipality’s electricity technical experts were still investigating the cause of the fire and were unable to quantify the costs of the repairs as yet.

Simon Ncoshe, manager at The Shack Restaurant at the Durban Harbour, said staff reported at about 4 am that they were without electricity.

“Power outages are bad for any restaurant and already yesterday we had to cut down on our menu as we only have a gas stove to cook with.

“Fortunately our customers are very understanding, but now they are also inconvenienced by having to go and draw money as the card facilities are also down.”

Ncoshe is, however, worried about their refrigerated goods should the outage be a prolonged one.

“We have moved food stuff to our deepfreezes, which will save us a few days, but after that I don’t know.”

Mthethwa offered the municipality’s apology for the disruptions and requested customers in the affected areas to be patient “as every effort is being made to affect complete restoration within the shortest possible time”.

• For inquiries, call the Electricity contact centre at 080 131 3111.

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