Electricity outage headache

2018-05-22 06:00

The community of Hangberg in Hout Bay was left in the dark for two days following an unforeseen electricity outage reportedly due to the strain of overloading on a low-voltage cable network.

The situation is said to have affected several households, as well as the Hangberg Clinic. The electricity supply was restored by midday last Tuesday.

According to Roscoe Jacobs, secretary of the Hout Bay Civic Association, the City of Cape Town failed to treat the issue as a matter of emergency. He says no valid reasons and solutions have officially been communicated to them. He rejected the explanation given by the ward councillor, Roberto Quintas, in response to the query about the outage.

Quintas told People’s Post that officials from the City’s Electricity Department are of the opinion that the infrastructure is getting old and is made further vulnerable by the possibility of illegal connections tapping into the grid to supply power to informal structures.

Jacobs responded: “I would like to reject the ward councillor’s response in relation to the illegal connections being part of the reasons. The reason for the problem is the old infrastructure and the increases in the number of people that have been added to the service. This to my understanding means that the capacity of the infrastructure is not enough for the current demand.

“We have called on the City to fix this and to our understanding they would have been on site today (Wednesday 16 May) but we have not seen them to address the matter as called for by the community.”

Mayco member for informal settlements, water, waste services and energy, Xanthea Limberg, says the outage was due to overloading placing strain on a low-voltage cable network­.

“The fault that the teams are dealing with on site is complicated due to the deterioration of the cable involved as a result of age and overloading over a sustained period, and as a result, some sections of the cable need to be replaced. Repair work has also been challenging due to some informal structures having been built over the cable route. Supply has been temporarily restored to all customers.”

According to Limberg, City officials will continue with further work on site to provide a more permanent restoration of service. She thanked residents for their patience while the teams work to solve the problem. “We apologise for any inconvenience caused,” she says.

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