Municipality addresses power outages

2017-09-13 06:02

MSUNDUZI Mayor Themba Njilo said that the municipality is addressing the regular­ electricity outages in the city at a press briefing on Tuesday, September 5.

He said the municipality has established that the outages are in part caused by an electricity network overloaded with illegal connections.

“This is being addressed by the electrification­ of informal settlements identified to be suitable for human settlement through the Department of Energy grant funding.”

He said something else that contributes to the outages is vandalism of the electricity infrastructure.

Njilo said substations are being broken into and electrical conductors and other equipment are being stolen.

“This is also being addressed by replacing mainly wooden doors in substations with steel doors to make it a bit difficult for easy access,” he said.

Ageing electricity infrastructure, Njilo said, also contributes to the regular outages.

“This is being addressed with the implementation of infrastructure upgrade projects identified in the network development plan [NDP]. This plan is looking at major substations within the city, including major underground cables in the CBD.”

Projects identified in the network development plan include the current replacement of old oil-filled 33 kilovolts cables with 132kV ones whose bigger capacity will enable them to handle the growing load demand.

Upgrades in Prince Alfred, Retief, Pine Street, Crossways, Archbell Primary, Retief­ Primary, Woodburn Primary and Northdale substations are part of the NDP.

The Eastwood Primary substation is being built to supply the Willowton industrial areas, which are currently being supplied from Northdale.

Once the substation is commissioned by no later than June 30, 2018, the Northdale substation’s load will be lessened leading to no power outages caused by overloaded transformers.

The substation will be completed by December 31.

- Supplied

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