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City spends R111-million on substation upgrade Print E-mail
10 February 2017

The City of Johannesburg has appealed to residents of Fairlands, Berario and Northcliff to exercise patience while the Roosevelt Park substation in Region B is being upgraded to boost power supply in the three suburbs.

The three areas have of late been experiencing a spate of power outages mainly as a result of the ongoing upgrades.

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Environment and Infrastructure Services Cllr Anthony Still made the appeal at a community meeting at Berario Recreation Centre on Wednesday February 8 to brief residents on the progress being made on the R111-million revitalisation project.

“I know that you are not happy. That’s why I am here ... to tell you what the cause of the power outages is and to also find a way forward,” said Cllr Still.

Accompanied by City Power officials, Cllr Still told residents that transformers at the substation were very old, hence the need for a major upgrade. He said he understood the frustration and inconvenience the residents were going through.

“I believe, though, that the worst is over. You have survived the worst and things are going to get better with a new transformer that is going to be installed sometime this week,” he said.

Cllr Still said two of the biggest problems facing the City as far as electricity supply was concerned were cable theft and maintenance failures.

“There are constraints because we work in a difficult environment. In the case of the Roosevelt Park, construction is taking place on a live substation that still has to supply electricity to communities,” said Still.

“We also have a lot of underground cables in this area. When the power trips, we are not sure where the problem lies, so we have to excavate and test the cable until we establish what the problem is.”

City Power’s Acting Managing Director, Mdu Nzimande, said the upgrades were expected to be completed within three years. He, however, added that the electricity utility was in talks with the contractors to request them to complete the work within 30 months.

He said the entity was also laying water-resistant cables to prevent power outages during wet weather conditions.
“We’re currently in the process of testing all the underground cables to determine which ones are problematic,” said Nzimande.

He added that as part of its turnaround plan, City Power was looking at interconnecting the Roosevelt Park and Parkhurst substations to ensure continuous power supply should one of them experience a problem.

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Last Updated on 10 February 2017