ETHEKWINI RESTORES ELECTRICITY AFTER RECENT HEAVY RAINFALL. The eThekwini Municipality has moved swiftly to restore electricity to customers affected by power outages due to the recent inclement weather.
A dedicated team of officials from the City’s Electricity Unit has been working around the clock to ensure that more than half of the reported electricity faults are addressed – with 1422 faults repaired and 1170 outstanding from 2592 faults reported as of 28 July. This indicates that approximately 355 faults repaired per day.
Last week’s downpour caused damage to utility infrastructure which resulted in affected Municipal service operations, especially in electricity distribution.
Most customers were restored promptly as the faults were easily repaired, but in cases where serious damage to infrastructure had been experienced, the outage times are prolonged.
Some areas in eThekwini experienced serious faults that affected multiple households while infrastructure was hard hit in other areas and requires intensive repairs prior to restoration. In this regard, the Municipality assures residents that damaged circuits are receiving attention from maintenance teams.
The remaining faults to be repaired in the six eThekwini regions are as follows:
North Western 308
South Western 40
Although 56 percent of the backlog has been cleared, resources are stretched. The Electricity Unit team is working on a 24 hour basis to ensure that the fault backlog is cleared this week. Rains experienced in some parts of eThekwini on Sunday evening increased the faults and added to the work schedule backlog. In spite of this, our Municipality has prioritised the matter and is responding to all faults promptly.
Upon assessment of damage, it was determined that majority of the outages experienced thus far relate to cable faults. The heavy rains led to deep penetration of excess water into the ground where electricity cables are housed.
Some of the typical problems experienced as a result of the inclement weather conditions:
• The foundations supporting electricity poles have washed up causing collapse of the poles as well as the supporting lines.
• Electricity field kiosks/substations that allow for the controlled switching of circuits have been damaged. Lightning strikes were also experienced, adding to damages.
• Underground cables have been damaged leading to trips and outages. Cable repair times are lengthy because before repairing a cable, the faulted spot first needs to be identified. Subsequently the soil covering the cable needs to be dug up in order for repair work to be undertaken.
• Illegal connections overload circuits especially in colder weather conditions as the demand for heating increases. Greater electricity infrastructure theft is also experienced.
Residents are encouraged to report faults to the City’s Electricity’s Contact Centre on 080 13 13 111, SMS : 083 700 0819 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.