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Planned maintenance causes unplanned protest in Tshwane community

After planned maintenance on a substation – to improve future power supply – was carried out by the City of Tshwane on Wednesday, residents of Nellmapius in Mamelodi East were left ‘powerless’.

Frustrated residents took to the streets in protest after being left for nearly 24-hours without electricity.

News24 quoted an unnamed resident: “We haven’t had electricity since Wednesday, we are very angry.”

According to the City of Tshwane, their energy and electricity department had embarked on scheduled maintenance and upgrading work of the Mamelodi – 3 132/11kV substation, and that large parts of Mamelodi would be without power from 7:00 to 17:00 on Tuesday, media reported.

The residents admitted to being aware of the maintenance, but claimed their power was never restored with the rest of Mamelodi, News24 reported.

Planned maintenance

“The maintenance work entailed the installation of new electricity components inside the substation, which would help reduce unplanned maintenance, limit possible breakdowns, improve performance of power supply in the area, and reduce constant major repairs that result in power outages,” News24 reported.

According to the City’s spokesperson, Lidela Mashigo, extensions seven and eight in Nellmapius were not up for maintenance on Tuesday, but that the area had been hit by three cable faults that same afternoon.

“Our team of electricians is still onsite, finalising repairs,” said Mashigo.

“The challenge and delay when it comes to effecting repairs has been due to the fact that the cable that supplies power to the affected residents lies under a waterlogged ground.

“It is estimated that, by this evening, power will be restored to the area.”

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.