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EMM electricity grid not failing

1 375 electricity outages in an eight month period is not a sign of a failed electricity grid in Ekurhuleni.

This is according to the spokesperson for the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM), Mr Themba Gadebe, who also stated that the municipality has not been paralysed by power outages.

“The EMM has a large electricity grid by any standards and outages occur as a result of numerous causes. It is regrettable that an image of a failed electricity grid is being portrayed, while statistics measured against national standards indicate the exact opposite,” Mr Gadebe said.

He added that the EMM managed outages responsibly by recording all power failures and durations and by analysing the data.

“The number of power outages is directly proportional to the number of customers serviced from a specific electrical distribution network,” Mr Gadebe said.

He added that when taking into account the electricity distribution network serviced by the EMM, it was not an accurate reflection to only refer to the number of outages for an eight-month period in isolation.

The National Rationalised Specification (NRS) standard suggests that 60 percent of all power outages be restored within three-and-a-half hours.

On average in the EMM, 63 percent of power failures are repaired within this time.

“This means that the EMM performed three percent better than the standard set out,” said Mr Gadebe.

The NRS standard also suggests that 90 percent of power outages should be restored within seven and a half hours.

On average, the EMM restores 88.6 percent of power outages within this time.

“In this case the EMM performs below the NRS standard,” said Mr Gadebe.

Within 24 hours, 98 percent of power outages should be restored according to the NRS standard.

The EMM’s average for power restoration with 24 hours is 98.1 percent.

“This means that the EMM performs 0.1 percent better than the NRS standard,” the spokesperson said.

According to the NRS standard, 100 percent of power outages should be restored after 24 hours.

“The EMM repairs 100 percent of power outages with 24 hours which means the EMM matches the standard,” Mr Gadebe said.

The industry target suggests that 99.2 percent of the EMM’s network should be available at any one time.

“On average, the EMM has 99.75 percent of its network available,” Mr Gadebe said.

Between July 2013 and June 2014, the EMM has had a total of 2069 interruptions.

254 of these were cause by operation failures while 417 were caused by a third party.

A staggering 1 398 outages were caused by equipment failure.

Of the 417 failures cause by a third party, 220 were the direct result of theft while 104 were caused by contractors and 13 were caused by motor vehicle accidents.

During the 2013/2014 financial year a total of R426-billion was spent on refurbishment of the electrical distribution networks.

Between January 2014 and September 2014, 130 arrests were made relating to copper theft on the EMM electrical distribution networks.

During the last 19 months, 88 of those accused of copper cable theft were convicted and sentenced and collectively received 103 years and five months imprisonment.

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