Dark weekend ahead for Pretoria east residents

Tshwane Mayor Cilliers Brink and his team inspect damage to Mooikloof substation after it caught fire. SUPPLIED

Tshwane Mayor Cilliers Brink and his team inspect damage to Mooikloof substation after it caught fire. SUPPLIED

Published Apr 20, 2024


MANY residents in Pretoria east are likely to spend the weekend in the dark as the City of Tshwane’s technicians yesterday continued work to restore power after fire broke out at the Mooikloof substation, affecting one of the transformers on Wednesday night.

Tshwane Mayor Cilliers Brink could not readily give a timeline for power restoration to affected residents because of the extensive damage to the facility.

Upon preliminary assessment of the damage on Thursday afternoon, Brink said it would not be “a quick operation” to restore power.

He said a fire incident knocked out a significant area of electricity supply to some areas east of Pretoria.

The affected areas are Woodlands Boulevard, Garsfontein east of Solomon Mahlangu, Pretorius Park, various extensions, including Woodhill, Mooikloof Estate and Mooikloof Ridge, Olympus, Zwavelpoort, The Wilds Estate, Moreleta Park, including Pretoria East Hospital, Woodlands Lifestyle Estate, Woodhill Lavender Estate, Park View Shopping Centre, the East Side Church and School, Moreleta Park Group 7 and various extensions.

Brink said: “Obviously we are very concerned about getting electricity back as soon as possible, but we are simply not in a position to give a credible timeline. Problem is if we give promises about when power will be on and it is not based on credible assessment, we will breach the trust of the community a bit further.”

The priority, he said, was to try to get power to areas that include Pretoria east hospital as soon as possible.

“We are really working very hard but the damage is extensive. This is not going to be a quick operation. In the meantime we ask for the patience of communities,”he said.

Brink promised to launch an investigation into why protection equipment on the substation had failed.

“And although you don’t want to hear it now, my focus will be to determine why protection equipment on the substation failed and how we can prevent this kind of thing from happening in future. It is not normal for substations to burn down. There has to be protection equipment and if we have to make some significant change only to protect our infrastructure we will do that,” he said.

Utility Services MMC Themba Fosi said the Mooikloof 132/11kV substation experienced an explosion, resulting in a fire on Transformer B and the 11kV panels on Wednesday at approximately 23:00.

He said the incident was caused by a fault originating from one of the 11kV power lines outside the substation.

“Our technical teams are working diligently to investigate the root cause of the fire. Concurrently, relevant equipment is undergoing thorough testing to determine the course of action for power restoration to affected residents,”he said.

Fosi pleaded with residents to exercise patience as the City was working on repairing the substation.

“We understand the inconvenience this situation poses to residents and businesses in the affected areas. We urge affected residents to remain patient as we work diligently to resolve the issue. We extend our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused and assure you that we are working tirelessly to resolve the issue,”he said.

Pretoria News

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