Good news for Hilton — for now

2013-08-09 00:00

HILTON’s second power line — part of the multi-million-rand upgrade to infrastructure beset by power outages — is now up and running. Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela is breathing a sigh of relief and says he cannot remember when last he had a call from an irate Hilton resident complaining about an outage.

However, the new upgrade will be tested this weekend when temperatures plummet and residents reach for their heaters, electric blankets and have pots of food bubbling on their stoves. According to the weatherman, a cold front this weekend is expected to bring snow to the Drakensberg and rain to the Midlands.

Ndlela is hopeful that the work carried out so far on the upgrade will hold and demonstrate the line’s stability and that it will be able to handle the load during cold snaps.

He also noted that work on the project had speeded up and he thanked the electricity department for their hard work. The mayor also expressed his gratitude to residents of Hilton, Sweetwaters and Winterskloof for their patience during the upgrade.

Members of the Executive Committee (Exco) also learnt that work on the upgrade of the Northdale sub-station was well in hand. This project was regarded as top priority for the Willowton industrial area, which was also subject to frequent outages because of the city’s ageing infrastructure.

Another priority project is the electrification of the informal settlements in an attempt to curb electricity theft. According to a report presented to Exco, the entire project could cost as much as R23 million. Five informal settlements, mainly around Copesville, Northdale and the Jika Joe settlement in town, would involve having to install over 5 000 connections.

Msunduzi is currently engaged in an R892 million project over five years to replace the city’s entire ageing electricity network.

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