Plans to end power problems only budgets away

Gateway Village receptionist, Lanie van Heerden, stands next to the mini-substation on their premises in Ruimsig which is affected by the outages. Photo: Amy Ingram

Certain parts of Ward 97 have been experiencing power outages for a variety of reasons over the past few weeks.

Some of the interruptions were due to planned outages and others were caused by natural disasters, cable theft and illegal connections. The most recent outage was on 7 August, and power was restored in a matter of hours once technicians had been deployed to the Kloofendal substation.

Read more: Wide-scale power outage hits Roodepoort

Over the past two months Ward 97 councillor and MMC for Economic Development, Leah Knott, has had several meetings with the City Power Risk Department management, Region C Planning Department, the MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services and City Power management.

These are the main issues that were identified:

• Aged infrastructure that requires major upgrades and maintenance

• Cable theft and illegal connections are rampant in the Ruimsig/ Honeydew areas in particular, and are causing the majority of the additional faults experienced after planned maintenance and in general. The load in these areas is excessively high

• Lack of resources in terms of security to patrol all affected areas within the city. This year the security unit has lost four security officials who were killed whilst on duty

• The current infrastructure battles with long outage periods and it is difficult to restore power to areas experiencing high loads

• Open-ended Section 82 certificates. These certificates basically grant approval of services to a property before construction starts

Measures to be taken:

• City Power has prioritised maintenance of substations during the current financial year, hence the maintenance at Kloofendal Substation

• City Power Risk Management has started a specialised WhatsApp group available to councillors only to escalate security issues. Residents are still urged to use the Security Risk Management number 011 490 7900/ 7911 and provide Leah with the reference number so she could escalate the matter. This line can be used to verify City Power contractor credentials as well as to report illegal connections, cable theft, open/ vandalised mini-subs, and all suspicious and criminal-related activity pertaining to electrical infrastructure

• Following Leah’s meeting with the MMC, City Power is working on a report regarding power issues specifically within Honeydew and Ruimsig, which she expects to receive soon. This report will enable them to properly outline a way forward. This will require budget allocation.

• Leah has raised the Section 82 issue with the Section 79 Development Planning Committee and proposed they look at imposing a validity period of a few years, with the option to renew. This should not affect developers negatively, but Building Control is criticised for allowing development in areas where electricity capacity is limited

• City Power Risk Management has advised the MMC of the constraints they face and resources they require. This requires budget allocation.

Power outages can be reported to City Power on 0860JOBURG / citypower.mobi / @City-Power. Minimum allocation time on an outage is four hours.

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at northsider@caxton.co.za  (remember to include your contact details) or phone us on 011 955 1130.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites 

Roodepoort Record

Randfontein Herald

Krugersdorp News 

Get It Joburg West Magazine

 

  AUTHOR
Amy Ingram
Journalist

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