May take 18 months to fix Wapadrand substation - MMC
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Pretoria - It may take more than 18 months to complete the rebuilding of the Wapadrand electricity substation.
The MMC for energy and electricity, water and sanitation, and regional operation and co-ordination in Tshwane, Phillip Nel, said they still had to embark on a tender process for the rebuilding of the substation.
The substation caught fire around 8.45pm on Saturday. The feeder cable to Koedoeberg caught fire, affecting a small portion of the substation’s controls system.
This plunged homes and businesses into darkness and only early this morning some areas had received power. But many other areas are still without electricity.
Regarding the delays in rebuilding the substation since it first caught fire in 2018, Nel said the insurance company had taken a long time to pay out the municipality, which it had only done at the end of the previous year.
He said the problem arose because the payment came at a time when the City was still under administration.
As a result, Nel said, plans to rebuild the substation were not added to the City's work programme, and as a regulation stated that new projects could not be added during the course of the financial year, there was not much that could be done.
“Despite these delays, the specifications are now ready, and it has gone out for advertising.
“We are hoping that it will take roughly 18 months once the tender is awarded before this foundation is up and running without any issues.”
Of the power outages affecting some communities, Nel said there had been delays in re-energising them, as the cleaning of the panels in the substation had taken longer than the time estimated by the subcontractors.
“Every time they tested, they found further spots that needed additional cleaning, which has delayed the repair. The good news is that, wherever possible, the cables have been tested and no faults were detected.
“This means we continue to expect that energising can take place for the suburbs of Wapadrand, Equestria, Silver Lakes, Six Fountains, Tygerpoort and Zwavelpoort.”
Nel said details of the repairs for Faerie Glen, Olympus and Boardwalk would be communicated at a later stage.
For now, he urged residents to switch off all high-energy appliances in order to prevent further trips as they gradually re-energised the system.