System overload: City Power warns Joburgers to use less electricity

  • Johannesburg residents across the city were dealing with power outages for most of Sunday.
  • Residents in Roodepoort were especially frustrated as many had no power for several days.
  • City Power is urging Johannesburg residents to try to minimise their electricity use as the utility’s system is “constrained.”

A widespread series of seemingly unconnected outages left large areas of Johannesburg without power across Sunday, according to the city’s electricity utility City Power. Now the utility says the system is close to being overloaded.

City Power technicians were busy for most of Sunday, and even into the late evening as the City Power Hursthill, Roodepoort, Lenasia, Inner City, Alexandra, Randburg, Midrand and Reuven service delivery centres were dealing with multiple outages simultaneously.

By late afternoon on Sunday, the Reuven centre had 107 plants out of service, Alexandra had 32, Randburg had 129 plants out of service, Midrand had 58, Inner City had 48, Lenasia had 47, 53 for Hursthill and 108 for Roodepoort.

City Power employees were addressing several thousands of calls from disgruntled Johannesburg residents and even issued a warning to residents of Honeydew in Roodepoort who were disrupting work by technicians at the JG Strydom Substation.

According to the utility, frustrated residents interrupted technicians while they were on site and work had to be suspended for over an hour. Community members were demanding that work be stopped at JG Strydom so technicians could rather start working to fix an outage affecting a local Honeydew substation.

“While we understand the frustration that this community is facing, this disruptive behaviour cannot be condoned,” the utility wrote. “This has now delayed work conducted at this site where customers have not had supply for a prolonged period to due extensive damage at the substation.”

The Roodepoort area and its residents suffer from power outages often, and the latest outage had lasted for a few days continuously. On Friday, a tree in the area was cut down and fell across a power line, interrupting the power supply to the Kloofendal and Christiaan de Wet substations, according to a local publication.

This led to a widespread outage across the region, affecting essentially most of Roodepoort. Residents had no power in areas like Horison, Horison View, Florida Park, Georginia, Roodekrans, Wilropark, Helderkruin, Constantia Kloof, Kloofendal, Weltevreden Park, Wilgeheuwel, Strubens Valley, Ruimsig, Eagle Canyon, Honeydew, and surrounding.

As of early this morning, City Power technicians managed to restore power at some substations across the city, such as the Roosevelt Park substation that was causing an outage in Fairland and surrounds, while Roodepoort residents were still struggling with sporadic power supply.

The utility is now urging residents across the city to try to reduce their electricity consumption in order to avoid the risk of the system overloading. This as it deals with many other issues.

This is all while Eskom continues to suspend loadshedding. In previous years City Power said that power outages more than two hours long would cause issues with infrastructure, such as Stage 6 loadshedding and greater. It seems no loadshedding at all also causes infrastructure problems for the utility as well.

[Image – Photo by zae zhu on Unsplash]


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