Vandalism, cable thefts cause lengthy power interruptions

On top of dreaded loadshedding, certain parts of Middelburg went without electricity for over 20 hours during the course of Monday and Tuesday, due to electrical faults that flared up all over town.

Ward Councillors scrambling around to have electricity restored suffered a plethora of inquiries from fed up residents who were left in the dark, long after their loadshedding slots had come to an end.

DA Ward Councillor, Johann Dyason, explained that damage to infrastructure due to loadshedding, cable theft and vandalism, were the main causes of the lengthy power outages experienced mainly in Kanonkop and Middelburg CBD.

Cllr. Dyason told that cables stolen in Lilian Ngoyi Street and Mhluzi, as well as cable vandalism in Rockdale and SADC Street, has plagued the town for the last two days.

The cable in Rockdale that was cut off.

“Loadshedding is extremely detrimental to our electrical infrastructure. These green electrical boxes are not meant to be switched on and off. We have experienced that several of them have tripped or burnt out due to power surges once electricity comes on again.”

Cllr. Dyason also added that another possible reason for the lengthy electrical faults is absence of maintenance.

“A circuit usually consists of two lines that provides electricity to a lot of residences. When one of the cables or lines break, they switch over to the other line. The broken cable is supposed to be repaired, but we suspect that maintenance is not done to the broken cable and that the area is often just switched over to the second line. If that is the case, then once the second cable breaks, it means that both cables then need to be repaired which explains the long restoration times.”

Cllr. Dyason also pointed out that apart from some restoration taking place in Kanonkop, most of the other areas are up and running again, depending on how resilient the infrastructure is to the impact of loadshedding.

“Both Cllr. Helda de Klerk and I have written to the acting Municipal Manager and Executive Mayor, pointing out that Kanonkop and Middelburg CBD have been problem areas for a while now. We have asked for an explanation on the possible causes and solutions to these faults as well as requested that a specialist be referred to assess the problem areas.”

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