Eskom to resume construction of Ariadne-Venus 400kV line
Eskom to resume construction of Ariadne-Venus 400kV line in KwaZulu-Natal province.

Eskom is set to resume its work to complete construction of the final leg of the approximately 123 km of transmission power line, which will run through uMgungundlovu and uThukela District Municipalities, in KwaZulu-Natal province.

The affected towns are Pietermaritzburg, Estcourt, Howick, Richmond and Mooi-River. The final construction of the 47 km leg of this power line will start from the existing Venus substation in Estcourt and will end at the existing Ariadne substation in Pietermaritzburg.

The utility advised it has been engaging with governmental, environmental and all relevant structures in the area, laying the groundwork for the construction to begin.

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“It is important to note that this project will enable Eskom to fulfil its mandate of electricity provision to users in the area, as well as the entire province of KwaZulu-Natal. Since 2005, Eskom has been expanding its infrastructure through additional power stations and power lines, as well as strengthening and upgrading existing electricity infrastructure. This in turn will ensure that electricity users experience reliable power supply and that we meet the country’s electricity demands.

“As a responsible corporate citizen, the utility aims to make a positive and lasting difference to the lives of all South Africans, especially within KwaZulu-Natal,” said Bob Naraghi, the grid manager at Eskom Transmission.

Noticing the far-reaching effects of COVID-19 which pushed millions of people into unemployment and poverty, the project could not have started at a better time, Eskom noted. The utility further underlined that the power line will contribute to bringing about economic change within the communities of the five affected local municipalities.

According to Eskom, the project has set into motion social and economic changes by creating 190 job opportunities ranging from professional, skilled, semi-skilled and the unskilled workforce, benefitting communities within the municipalities affected by the construction.

About 70% of the employed workforce has been recruited from the locals within the relevant towns, with the entire team completing induction at the beginning of October 2020.

“On completion, the project will not only contribute to improved stability of the transmission network, but will also create a more flexible network that will enhance electricity reliability. More importantly, this line will also contribute to the economic growth of the province,” concludes Naraghi.