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City Power experiencing high outage calls

Power will be beefing up teams into areas throughout the day to ensure the repairs are speedily done and power is restored.

City Power is experiencing high-volume calls, with about 1 500 recorded by the start of the day.

Eight of those calls are due to medium voltage (MV) outages, with the rest being individual low voltage (LV) calls across the city.

City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena said teams in all Service Delivery Centres (SDC), have been dispatched to investigate those outages, while other teams are on the ground attending to outage calls.

“City Power will be beefing up teams into areas to ensure the repairs are speedily done and power is restored. We are also unable to deal with the high backlog of outage calls in the past 24 hours. We are running out of stock materials, such as MV cables, LV cables, mini substations (MSS), a bulk metering kiosk, breakers and joints.

“Our SDCs are battling to deal with high demands of repairs due to cable theft and vandalism, as well as multiple cable faults.

“Load-shedding is further hurting our infrastructure, which by its nature was never meant to be switched on and off at short regular intervals. For that reason, many mini substations (MSS), pole-mounted transformers, and transformers often catch fire or fail post-load-shedding, due to different reasons including overloading and the inrush current.

“Since the recent higher stages of load-shedding, City Power had to replace stock material faster than we can replenish them.”

Mangena said they are also encountering frequent faults since most of their cables are old and would have been cut and repaired by joining them with new replacement cables due to the theft taking place.

“As a result, whenever there are load-shedding and power returns, the surge in this power will affect the weaker points on the cable which is often where they have joined them and would then pop.

“In essence, cable faults have increased as most of the faults are happening on the cable joints that have been replaced. If there was no load-shedding, the electricity network would run smoothly.

“The pressure areas include Reuven, which in one morning had 308 outage calls, Lenasia with 310 outage calls, Roodepoort with 258 outage calls and Hursthill with 237 outage calls.”

The Peter Road substation has 15 mini substations that are off as well as the Helderkruin switching station with 17 load centres that also remain off due to the lack of material.

“In Alexandra, four cables were stolen, plunging a larger part of three areas into darkness. Teams are sourcing materials to mitigate this,” said Mangena.

Mangena said they are engaging their suppliers to receive more stock material to effect repairs. Most of which will arrive sometime later and go into the coming days.

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused by this. We will continue to update customers on the Twitter page @CitypowerJHB and councillors’ WhatsApp groups.

“We have been getting increased complaints regarding theft incidents of service cables. There seems to be a syndicate stealing these cables from households, particularly in the Lenasia and Alexandra SDCs disguising themselves as City Power employees. Power would like to alert residents that they have not embarked on any project to replace these cables,“ said Mangena.

Mangena urged councillors and residents to be vigilant and question anyone claiming to be a City Power technician or contractor working in their area by requesting them to produce IDs and job cards explaining why they are working in those areas.

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