City Power has announced plans to restore power to outstanding customers south of Johannesburg who were plunged into darkness by the inferno at the Robertsham substation. File Picture: City Power
City Power has announced plans to restore power to outstanding customers south of Johannesburg who were plunged into darkness by the inferno at the Robertsham substation. File Picture: City Power

City Power denies social media posts of second inferno at Robertsham substation

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Oct 20, 2021

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Pretoria – Johannesburg power utility City Power on Wednesday morning said it had managed to restore power to some of the areas which experienced a blackout after the Robertsham substation caught fire on Monday night.

City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena said the restoration of power on Tuesday was, however, impeded by rain.

“City Power teams worked for a second night in a row to ensure power is restored to all residents affected by Robertsham substation fire which happened on Monday night. By end of yesterday (Tuesday) we had managed to backfeed six distributors to restore electricity to Chrisville, Crown Gardens, Robertsham, West Turffontein and parts of Ormonde,” said Mangena.

Suburbs still outstanding include Booysens, Ridgeway, Winchester Hills, Nasrec, Southdale, Ophirton, Glenanda, Aeroton, Evans Park and Gillview, among others.

“We couldn't backfeed all the customers from the available substations around due to the overloading that was gonna trip the other substation. The rain also delayed some progress on the repairs,” he said.

By Tuesday night, the City Power team had managed to bring back the two spare transformers that survived the fire at Robertsham and they both passed tests.

“We are this morning finalising the tests on the protection between Robertsham and Fordsburg substation, where the damaged substation is fed from. If all goes well, they will bring the much-needed capacity to start restoring all outstanding customers,” said Mangena.

“We are hoping to have an all-clear by later today after which power will be restored to all – if everything goes according to plan.”

Mangena denied social media posts of a second fire engulfing the Robertsham substation.

“Two transformers burnt in a fire on Monday. They each have plus or minus 20 litres of oil each for insulation and cooling of the transformer. It's still boiling over 24 hours later, and the smoke was still billowing in the air even yesterday when we were working,” he explained.

“We called emergency medical services, who have been busy with it and are now arranging foam to put out the smoke for good. There is no additional fire at Robertsham substation, just the aftermath.”

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