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City Power warns Johannesburg: prepare for constant power outages

Johannesburg residents have been urged to limit their use of electricity as City Power battles to meet demand during icy weather and contends with theft and vandalism.
Johannesburg residents have been urged to limit their use of electricity as City Power battles to meet demand during icy weather and contends with theft and vandalism.
Image: 123RF/rasslava

Electricity woes for Johannesburg residents may be far from over if criminality and irresponsible use continue, City Power said on Tuesday.

Several parts of the city have recently experienced constant power cuts and load-shedding.

Alexandra, Houtkoppen, Cleveland, Lenasia South and Mayfair were some of the areas affected on Tuesday as distributors tripped and cable theft continued, among other reasons.

City Power spokesperson Issac Mangena said the problems began at the start of winter.

“The outages are caused by illegal connections, backyard rooms, vandalism of our infrastructure and switching on many non-essential power-guzzling appliances, such as stoves, geysers, heaters and electric blankets, at the same time.

“Since the beginning of winter we have experienced an increase in demand for electricity. The demand skyrocketed recently when temperatures dipped,” said Mangena.

The increased demand for electricity led to equipment failure from overloading on the network, according to Mangena. The overloading was caused by illegal connections and irresponsible use of electricity.

“Our mini-substations, pole-mounted transformers and cables exploded and burnt because of this overloading. Replacing a transformer that blows up always takes time, more than 24 hours depending on availability,” said Mangena.

He said residents could expect an increase in power outages as the cold weather is  expected to continue into the weekend. The utility urged residents to use electricity cautiously.

“We appeal to residents of Joburg to join hands with us and ensure you use electricity sparingly while City Power tries its best to attend to outages as and when they are reported.” 

Mangena urged residents to exercise patience while teams attended to different queries and complaints.

“Our teams get overstretched. We appeal to you to bear with us as we deal with the backlogs affecting your area and other areas across Johannesburg.”


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