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Joburg blackout a stark reminder that generation is not only threat to Eskom power supply

Mar 08 2019 15:45
Fin24 and Bloomberg

All City Power customers who were affected by Eskom's loss of supply are back online, City Power has said, and the tripped feeder that caused the outage is almost fully restored. 

"Orlando Prospect/Mondeor/Mulbarton tripped feeder is 85% restored. Operators are currently busy running tests at Alan Manor distributor. Power will be fully restored," City Power Johannesburg tweeted at 4:15pm.

It had earlier said all its own customers were back online.

Bloomberg reported that Friday's blackout in Johannesburg is a stark reminder that generation capacity isn't the only threat to power supply in SA. Eskom has fallen behind on maintenance due to a shortage of funds and much of the country relies on aging distributing and transmission infrastructure.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said it could take some time to restore power to all electricity users. "Although power has been restored from a high voltage point of view, technicians say downstream customers could take longer to restore due to switching in distribution networks," he tweeted.

The major blackout in Johannesburg is unrelated to load shedding, Eskom and City Power Johannesburg earlier said. 

In a tweet on Friday afternoon, Eskom said the major blackout was due to a transmission substation trip. 

The loss of power was so widespread due to a technical fault on one of the substations that feeds power to several areas.

Technicians were on site to resolve the problem, Eskom added at the time.

City Power Johannesburg tweeted: "City Power is currently affected by Eskom's loss of supply to Lipini substation and Graighall (sic) substation. Resulting in a total loss of supply at Delta substation, A whole of Randburg and Midrand suburbs are affected. (sic)

"Eskom is busy with restoration."

Meanwhile, social media users including author and radio personality Redi Tlhabi have been complaining of gridlocked traffic as a result of the outage. 

City Power earlier tweeted a list of the affected areas, which it said included most of the city.

"We have a huge outage in most suburbs in Johannesburg, especially the central and northern suburbs including Sandton, Midrand and Alexandra," the tweet said.  

"This affected at least 20 of our substations with each servicing at least 10 suburbs." 

The full list included Northcliff, Linden, Victory Park, Dunkeld, Craighall Park, Rosebank, Parktown, Rosebank, Illovo, Saxonwold, Blairgowrie, Hyde Park, Greenside, Parkhurst, Blackheath, Risidale, Berario, Montgomery Park and Forestown, among others.

eskom  |  load shedding
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