Power and water cuts hit Tshwane hard
Brink says the city depends on Rand Water for up to 70% of its water supply.
Tshwane Mayor Cilliers Brink speaks to media on 24 May 2023. Picture: Neil McCartney/The Citizen.
It’s going to be a difficult weekend and week to follow for residents of Tshwane who will face more challenges following recent power outages followed by major water interruptions and load shedding.
Many residents of Tshwane were left without power for up to four days following an attack at the Njala 132KV substation that saw a security guard shot dead.
Just as the city managed to resolve the widespread power outages, the next crisis hit the residents in the form of load shedding and water cuts.
Yesterday afternoon, City of Tshwane mayor Cilliers Brink said this weekend was going to be a difficult one for Tshwane after power failures at Rand Water Mapleton Booster pump station.
“The water utility, Rand Water, has informed Tshwane that an additional power trip occurred on Thursday at the Mapleton Booster Pumping Station affecting water pumping capacity at Engine Room 1,” he said.
“The Mapleton Booster Pumping Station pumps water that supplies Rand Water reservoirs in Pretoria East.”
The power interruption has resulted in the depletion of Rand Water reservoirs in Brakpan, Vlakfontein, Bronberge, Wildebeesfontein, Selcourt and Stompiesfontein affecting Pretoria East, north and south east which have already reported low water pressure to no water.
Brink said at least six or seven times at no to little notice, Tshwane was informed that Rand Water has problems.
“We can understand when cable theft and vandalism affect their ability to supply water to their customers. That is something that is outside the immediate control,” he said.
Brink: ‘We have fragile infrastructure’
Brink said the city depended on Rand Water for up to 70% of its water supply.
“Last week we didn’t have load shedding yet we had similar issues to this,” he said.
Brink also said the city’s electricity infrastructure was fragile.
“What makes it more fragile is load shedding,” he said. “In many parts of Tshwane there are serious problems such as Soshanguve where’s the substation gets hit almost every single week by cable theft. We have fragile infrastructure and stage 6 load shedding makes it worse.
“These networks were never built to be switched on and off constantly, it creates heightened wear and tear.”
Brink said load shedding also gave notice to criminals that the network was going to be off in advance.