City Power infrastructure buckles as load-shedding takes its toll

The effect of load-shedding implemented by Eskom has affected City Power's infrastructure, including a number of substations in Johannesburg.
The effect of load-shedding implemented by Eskom has affected City Power's infrastructure, including a number of substations in Johannesburg.
Image: Felix Lipov/123RF STOCK PHOTO

City Power’s electricity infrastructure has been severely affected by the current bout of load-shedding.

The rotational blackouts, which started last week and peaked at stage 6 on Monday evening, have affected a number of substations in Johannesburg, including Roodepoort, Bryanston, Lenasia and Emmarentia.

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Pretoria’s Kwagga substation caught alight on Tuesday morning as a result of an oil leak. The damage to the substation affected the power supply to a number of suburbs in Pretoria. It was not clear whether the damage was as a result of load-shedding.

City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena on Tuesday asked consumers not to switch on appliances immediately after load-shedding because the system took serious strain as a result.

“The demand shoots up, and that is why we have had trips during restoration as everyone rushes to switch on their appliances.

“We urge customers to avoid switching on many appliances immediately after load-shedding restorations as this puts pressure on the network, leading to systems failure,” Mangena said.

He said it was still too early to quantify the damage to infrastructure.

Mangena said the electricity system was not meant to be switched on and off, as load-shedding forced it to be.

He said the effects would be felt long after load-shedding problems had been resolved.

Mangena said load-shedding had resulted in City Power’s maintenance backlog being suspended as its teams could not work during periods without power supply.

“We had a programme to refurbish our bulk infrastructure but load-shedding has reversed some of the gains we have made.”


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