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East power outage: setback as areas already restored go dark again

Utility services MMC Phillip Nel said the substation tripped on Wednesday morning, affecting some of areas where power had already been restored.

Despite good progress being made in restoring electricity to several parts in the east of Pretoria, some areas were still without any power by Wednesday afternoon; while others, which had their electricity restored, went dark again.

The Wapadrand substation, which provides electricity to more than five suburbs, caught fire on Saturday, causing a five-day power outage in some areas.

Utility services MMC Phillip Nel said the substation tripped on Wednesday morning, affecting some of areas where power had already been restored.

“There doesn’t seem to be any damage, and the team is working to restore power as quickly as possible,” he said.

“I must also note some challenges affecting the area behind the MBT garage, down to Kingbolt Crescent in Wapadrand.

“Although this area was energised yesterday, we have discovered that the cables supplying the area are running through the same trench where the cables that need repairs for the other areas are based.

“As such, electricity to this area may have to be switched off again until the complete repair of the substation with the southern suburbs.”

Nel said this was to ensure technical teams’ safety.

“I need to clear up one matter that has caused confusion: the power supplied to Cura, Furrow, Vergelegen, Meerlust (including Equestria retirement village) and Stellenberg will only be restored once we restore power to the full sub-station,” he said.

“It was miscommunicated that this would be earlier, and I wish to apologise for that.”

He further gave the following update on various areas:

– Wapadrand, east of Solomon Mahlangu Road, as well as Lombardi, Tygerpoort and Zwavelpoort are all on track to also be switched on only once the entire sub-station is energised.

– The southern suburbs, Koedoeberg, Faerie Glen, Olympus and Boardwalk, as well as other remote areas in that section: today the team has been working to replace sections of cable on 6 of the feeder cables.

“They should be ready for energising by late tonight,” Nel said.

“We are working aggressively to stick to the timelines we have set. Our plan remains that by late afternoon or early evening, the equipment could be handed over to the testing department.”

He said electricians would then do their final testing in order to be able to energise the substation in phases.

Everything then depended on what the testing results could be, he said.

Thus, he could not give an estimated time of full supply – until testing was completed.

“Residents should also know that at night the teams, which are working through the night, are working inside the substation and cannot be seen from outside,” he said.

“The vehicle gate is closed for security reasons. We’re going to give the team time to do their work and will come back with additional information at that time.”

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