HomeIndustry SectorsAsset MaintenanceGauteng suburbs identified for Eskom electricity asset replacement

Gauteng suburbs identified for Eskom electricity asset replacement

Eskom’s senior maintenance and operations manager for the Gauteng region, Mashangu Xivambu, said they are working around the clock to replace and repair failed electricity equipment with the resources available.

The state-owned power utility has committed to replacing its ailing infrastructure in Gauteng after experiencing an increased number of pole-mounted transformers and mini-substations that fail due to network overload.

According to Eskom, overloading of the network in Gauteng is caused by meter bypassing, illegal connections, unauthorised operations, and vandalism of the electricity infrastructure.

To date, the utility has successfully replaced and repaired 50% of the damaged electrical equipment in areas where communities have complied with the audit process across Gauteng.

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While the company has a stable amount of critical material in stock, there is a risk of being unable to meet the “exponentially” high demand. This as lockdown has affected the production of electrical equipment, which has strained the industry.

Xivambu explained: “These are subsequent to the audit process, which includes assessing the severity of the damage on the network, removing illegal connections, disconnecting, and issuing fines to customers with contraventions that have to be paid in full before the equipment is replaced.”

He added that challenges often cause delays in responding to outages: “We often are faced with community resistance and other challenges which delay our efforts such as violently assaulting and injuring our employees, chasing them out of the areas, illegally removing and operating on our infrastructure, and non-adherence to the audit process as is the case in Chiawelo.”

Eskom has replaced six of the seven problematic equipment in other parts of Chiawelo with one area remaining due to the lack of community cooperation until recently, he explained on Wednesday.

“The mini-substations will be replaced in the area subject to the availability of resources and material. We encourage communities to fully cooperate with us by allowing our employees to conduct their operations without interference,” said Xivambu.

Source: SANews.gov.za

Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl
As the Editor of ESI Africa, my passion is on sustainability and placing African countries on the international stage. I take a keen interest in the trends shaping the power & water utility market along with the projects and local innovations making headline news. Watch my short weekly video on our YouTube channel ESIAfricaTV and speak with me on what has your attention.