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Repair work to start 'soon' on burnt power cables behind the Cape Town CBD blackout

While the power supply was restored to affected areas the next day, work to repair the severe damage is yet to commence. Picture: City of Cape Town/Supplied

While the power supply was restored to affected areas the next day, work to repair the severe damage is yet to commence. Picture: City of Cape Town/Supplied

Published Jan 17, 2022

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Cape Town - Site work for the damaged electricity infrastructure, which led to a power outage in the CBD last month, is set to commence soon, with an expected working period of at least eight weeks.

Last month just before Christmas, a fire under the bridge structure caused severe cable damage and subsequent failure of the high voltage cable.

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While the power supply was restored to affected areas the next day, work to repair the severe damage is yet to commence.

Speaking on the City's plans to restore the damaged cables, the City’s Mayco member for energy, Beverley van Reenen, said that currently the network was operating within its set design parameters as the department waited for a formal report to be drafted so the repair work could commence.

She said: “Electrical outages occur across the metro daily, however, high voltage (HV) faults of that nature are rare. Similar incidents of damage to 132kV cables have occurred in the past but without loss of supply to the entire Area 7.

“These were due largely to cables being dug into during excavations without way-leaves. There have been at least three incidents in the past 15 years. Way-leaves must be obtained, and if persons or companies are found responsible, the City will charge them for the repairs," Van Reenen said.

A POWER outage hit Cape Town CBD, the Atlantic Seaboard, Camps Bay and parts of Woodstock. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

“The City is working on installing a new cable in due course to replace the damaged equipment, so site work will commence shortly and is estimated to take between four to eight weeks depending on regulatory approvals and the availability of spares.”

To mitigate risks of any other flareups or disastrous incidents, Van Reenen said cable routes of those circuits now feeding the CBD would be closely monitored and patrolled daily.

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“Unfortunately, the vandalism of electricity infrastructure is outside of the City‘s control and remains a challenge. We appeal to residents to assist us by reporting any suspicious activities near electricity infrastructure to both the SAPS and the City so we can bring an end to infrastructure vandalism,” she said.

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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