JOHANNESBURG City Power says should the high and constant stages of load shedding continue the City might lose most of its substations and other infrastructure due to theft and vandalism.
A number of mini substations had been damaged, City Power said, and some transformers stolen which affected several areas around Johannesburg.
The municipal entity said it would take time to replace some of those substations.
“Over the past year, in which Eskom imposed at least 205 days of load shedding, City Power replaced in excess of 390 mini-substations, at a cost of R200 million. This is the reason we have currently ran out of stock of mini-substations,” City Power said.
City Power said having run out of mini-substations means it could take time for those residents in the dark to get back on the grid.
On average, one mini-substation supplies 100 households, depending on the size, which would explain the huge complaint call log at City Power.
“More mini-substations have been ordered. We are expecting deliveries from this coming week, due to the long lead time nature of the commodity and festive season closures of most factories,” City Power said.
According to City Power, the impact of high demand on mini-substations has left a huge dent in its budget.
“As it is we have already spent 80% of our budget for the whole financial year. Due to continued theft and vandalism of mini-subs in the middle of load shedding and stock shortages, we are currently having 14 mini-subs which need to be replaced across all eight SDCs,” City Power said.
The areas impacted by vandalised mini-substations in Roodepoort include Lufhereng, Roodepoort CBD, JG Strydom, Witpoortjie, Wilgeheuwel, and Weltevreden.
Unfortunately, the above areas, and those in other SDCs, cannot be restored until City Power receive the stock of mini-subs.
“We appeal for calm and patience from our customers as we work hard to address this shortage.
“We urge residents to be vigilant and assist by protecting their electricity infrastructure and report any suspicious activity around the electricity installations,” City Power said.