Picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters/African News Agency/ANA

Durban - Tens of thousands of Durbanites woke up to no electricity on Tuesday after a major substation blew up in Klaarwater causing widespread black outs to at least 50 per cent of the city according to some estimates.

Among the areas affected by the blackouts which occurred shortly after 5am was the Durban city centre, the beachfront, Glenwood, Umbilo and Congella.There were reports of no electricity as far west as Pinetown and Marianhill.

Electricity was restored to some areas by 8am on Tuesday. 

Ethekwini Municipality customer services said technicians are investigating the cause of the power outage and as soon the fault is identified they we’ll be able to restore supply.

It is believed that an explosion at the 275KW Volt Klaarwater major substation was behind the blackouts.

Some areas in the Northern, Western and Southern regions of the city were without power and electricity 

However, power has been restored in some areas across the city. Technicians were on site to assess the damage and the cause of the explosion.

Reacting to the Facebook post from eThekwini customer services Paula Pretorius said the street lights and traffic lights were not working from Titren Road all the way to South Coast Road as well as on the M4 south of Durban. 

Yvonne Halley said: "No maintenance like the water pipes bursting underground and wasted water running down the streets yet the price goes up,up and up."

Others complained that there was no electricity supply in Waterloo, north of Durban and KwaDengezi near Mariannhill. 

Mike Bloxham of North Beach  and Pravin Bhika of Grey Street said the electricity supply in the area was restored at 8am. 

The customer services said the municipality purchases approximately 11 000 gWh of power annually from Eskom at 275 000 volts.

eThekwini Electricity transforms and redistributes this power to approximately 700 000 customers, ranging from the large sophisticated customer supplied at 132 000 volts, to the rural and peri-urban informal communities supplied at 230V.

The supply covers an area covering nearly 2 000 square kilometres. 

This encompasses the area of the eThekwini Metropolitan Region and some adjacent areas. 

Electricity for the main supply to the Metro Region is purchased at 275 000 volts from Eskom at three in-feed points, feeding to four in-feed substations.

Ethekwini Electricity also purchases electricity from Eskom for Tongaat, Winkelspruit, Mpumalanga and Magabeni. 

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