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Vorna Valley substation needs attention, City Power says its managed by Eskom

A local resident alleges that City Power has already changed her meter box three times since last year, says there is no clear communication channel between City Power and Eskom.

The Vorna Valley sub-station remains a serious cause for concern for residents as they voiced their distress at a recent public meeting.

City Power’s CoJ Senior Stakeholder officer: stakeholder management Tshepo Chuene said, “Despite Eskom handing over much of the load-shedding scheduling to City Power, Eskom remains responsible for the Vorna Valley sub-station which they control remotely. The sub-station services Kyalami Estate, Kyalami Hills, Halfway Gardens and Vorna Valley.”

Residents often endure extended outages after load-shedding which can take hours to restore, regardless of whether people log the fault and have reference numbers.

This was revealed at Midrand’s Fire Station on March 27 when Ward 112 councillor Annette Deppe held a public meeting with City Power representatives and residents.

Chuene said, “We are not controlling it [Vorna Valley]. That means we are subject to Eskom’s modus operandi. Now when the power goes off, and they are not aware and we are not aware, then we are relying on you [residents], to speak up whether the power came back on or not. That’s the predicament we find ourselves in.”

He said this was beyond their control because they now have to dispatch a team to go investigate. “When the team gets there, they find that the fault is on Eskom’s side and we have to wait for them to fix their problem and before we can fix ours. So it’s just a complete nightmare,” Chuene conceded.

During a question-and-answer session, one resident Rosie Wilson was left more frustrated about this, saying her smart meter box did not take power tokens.

She said last year, her box was changed three times. “I was frustrated before I came here. For organisations as big as City Power and Eskom, it seems like there is no synchronisation between the two entities in terms of communication. Just an example, yesterday [March 26] we did not have power the whole day. Today [March 27], three vans came almost at the same time. For me, the left-hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing,” said Wilson.

Councillor Deppe said, “This explains the delay from the sub-station by Eskom. There is no communication between the two entities”.

Eskom was contacted for a comment and asked whether indeed they were responsible for remotely switching off the sub-station. But they had not responded at the time of going to print.

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