Eskom laments continued damage to infrastructure

Eskom in Gauteng has voiced concern over the continued cost of fixing mini-substations and transformers due to failed electricity equipment during rolling blackouts.

It says the network overloading can be attributed to illegal connections and infrastructure vandalism, among others.

Eskom’s Senior Manager for Maintenance and Operations in Gauteng Mashangu Xivambu says, “It does cost a fortune to fix equipment that are failing. But most of our equipment failures are attributed to abuse of the infrastructure where our networks are overloaded.”

“To date, we have managed to replace 116 out of 2 314 transformers that failed. We have also managed to replace 1 326. But I think the question that we need to ask is how do we make sure that those that are operational do not add to the number of those units that have failed,” adds Xivambu.

The audio below is the full interview with Eskom’s Mashangu Xivambu:

The struggling power utility has also voiced concern over an increase in illegal electricity connections during rolling blackouts.

It says the equipment in mini-substations and transformers are failing due to the network being overloaded.

“At the time that we have got load shedding, we do have those who take advantage of the situation to connect themselves to the network. Sometimes it does contribute to situations where, at the time that we want to restore supply to customers, we are unable to do so. Because the network has been tampered with as communities attempt to connect themselves illegally.”

“It creates faults in the networks. Because when we restore supply after load shedding, the network will trip and customers – after going through the pains of load shedding – we have to identify what the fault is and fix it before we can restore supply,” explains Xivambu.

The video below is reporting that stage 4 and 5 power cuts will continue today:

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