Durban — The Msunduzi Local Municipality is working around the clock to resolve power outages following damage caused by inclement weather.
Municipal manager Lulamile Mapholoba said in a statement, that technicians were working around the clock to resolve prolonged power outages affecting the municipality.
He said that, “On Sunday, December 3, at approximately 3.30pm, a hail storm affected 33kv Line A and B from the Retief Substation to Crossways Primary Substation which supplies the Hilton community. The teams promptly responded and power was restored using Line A at 5.30pm (on Sunday) to restore supply to the Crossways Primary.”
Mapholoba added that on Monday, December 4, around 8.30am, “via calls and text messages, customers reported that they had no electricity since the storm the previous day and teams were immediately dispatched to attend, including patrolling Line B which was off. The team discovered trees on the 33KV line and the trees were removed; however, upon energising the line stayed on for a short period and tripped again.”
Further repairs were undertaken on the 33kV Line, the team then energised the power and it tripped at 5.30pm, he said.
“It must be noted that torrential downpours and very strong winds continued to wreak havoc in the City on Monday, resulting in another trip on Line A,” Mapholoba said.
That was attended to and the power supply was restored at 7.26pm.
The Crossway Primary Substation was lost again on Tuesday, December 5, at 1.06am. “The team continued to locate the fault and do repairs; full supply was restored at 3.19pm. Due to high loads, load reduction was implemented at 4pm until the loads were stable. There was a white missing on Line A which was repaired and full supply was restored at 4.07am on December 6.”
Speaking on other outages, Mapholoba said:
• At Sweetwaters: A pole transformer fell on the ground, (and there were) challenges with reinstatement due to servitude issues – inside the customer property – Electricity team is attending.
• Mkhondeni and surrounding areas: Overhead lines were affected by falling trees - Trees have been cleared and supply was restored.
• Eastwood – Joint failure resulting in wide areas off: Fixed the faulted cables and restored part supply – Teams are still working on the remaining network to join the cables to restore full supply.
• Eastwood, Bishopstowe and other areas were affected by the storm. Part supply was restored and teams are still at work to normalise the network to restore full supply.
• Westgate and surrounding areas were affected, teams are at work, part of the supply has been restored and work is under way to restore the remaining areas.
“Our dedicated teams have been working around the clock to ensure that more than half of the reported electricity faults are attended to and resolved. They have been hard at work since Sunday afternoon, under severe weather conditions, their commitment and endurance are highly commendable,” Mapholoba said.
“The municipality wishes to advise the residents that the current state of weather also causes trees to fall; the overgrown trees interfere with power lines and tree branches that encroach on overhead power lines also damage the electricity infrastructure. The property owners are encouraged to keep trees clear of the electricity lines.”
Mapholoba reminded residents to report power outages and any service delivery challenge to the Call Centre at 0800 001 868, a reference number will be issued, and the matter will be attended to.
“Residents are to remember that when the electricity supply returns, they must not switch on appliances such as heaters, stoves, air conditioners, geysers, and pool pumps all at once. They are advised to switch on each appliance, 15 minutes apart to reduce the risk of prolonged outages. Residents must also take note that load shedding has a huge negative impact on electrical equipment as it was not designed for such frequent switching. Therefore, there is a higher volume of faults during load shedding.
“The City would like to apologise to the residents for the inconvenience and appeal for patience as teams work to restore power supply.”
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