Power restored after fire at Joburg substation left some inner city residents in the dark

A fire broke out at the Van Beek substation in Joburg. Picture: CityPower / Supplied

A fire broke out at the Van Beek substation in Joburg. Picture: CityPower / Supplied

Published Nov 13, 2023


Power has been fully restored to Joburg Inner City residents after a fire ripped through the Van Beek substation, causing blackouts on Sunday afternoon.

The fire broke out at the Van Beek substation on Sunday afternoon, causing blackouts for residents in Doornfontein, Jeppestown, the inner city, and the suburbs surrounding the city.

City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena said they were still investigating the cause of the fire.

Staff managed to restore the power, but a team of experienced technicians and engineers had managed to work quickly through the rain showers and restore most of the power by Sunday midnight.

The rest of the power was restored on Monday after the officials managed to source and pass after testing, two new transformers and also replace badly burnt cables at the substation.

Mangena said mop-up operations were still continuing on Monday, but the power had now been restored to all affected residents.

“The protection team has just completed functionality tests on the second standby transformer, and it passed all the tests, meaning it can be fired up.

“Parallel to the testing of the transformer was the testing of the cables between Selby and Central substations to enable backfeeding to be done for some of the customers. The cables also passed all the tests.

“The team is now busy with the earthing of the power transformer, after which the gradual restoration of some of the customers will start,” he said.

Mangena said work to dismantle the transformer, razed to the ground by the fire, commenced on Monday morning, and a contractor was busy with cleaning up the oil spillage from the damaged transformer.

“The investigation into the cause of the fire will also begin on Monday morning during the mop-up operations.

“We will continue to update customers should there be any changes to the recovery and restoration plan,” he said.

Meanwhile, Eskom is implementing Stage 1 load shedding between 4pm and 5am Tuesday morning.

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