Johannesburg - Eskom said on Wednesday that a transformer fire had cut electricity supplies to mines in the North West, home to the world's biggest platinum operations, and it was working to restore power quickly.
Eskom did not say what mines were impacted by the outages which also hit Gauteng province, which includes the financial centre of Johannesburg and where some gold mining is still done.
“Eskom is working to restore power supply to parts of Gauteng and the North West provinces which have been affected by a fire at a transformer which has caused loss of supply to customers, mainly mines,” Eskom said in a statement.
“Technicians are on site and are aiming to restore power in the shortest possible time to ensure that miners who are underground can be brought to surface,” Eskom said.
Eskom said about 400 MW of supply was affected by the fire and its cause was being investigated.
Power supplies are razor-thin in South Africa, the world's top platinum producer, as Eskom races to bring new plants online as demand threatens to outpace supply.
The world's biggest platinum producers, Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin all have operations in North West province. - Reuters