Joburg to enhance electricity infrastructure

Posted On Wednesday, 16 March 2005 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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In the light of recent electricity outages in Johannesburg, City Power and the City of Joburg will spend R400 million to improve electrical infrastructure.

Infrastructure IndustryIn the light of recent electricity outages in Johannesburg, City Power and the City of Joburg will spend R400 million to improve electrical infrastructure.

Addressing the media in Johannesburg today, Vice President of Operations at City Power, Silas Zimu, said the money would be used to upgrade or replace transformers, switchboards and cables that had exceeded their life cycles.

The process which forms part of the 2005/2006 financial year will start in June and it is expected to be completed by 2010.

Mr Zimu blamed the electricity outages to old network infrastructure because many transformers had exceeded their maximum lifespan of thirty years.

Power failures are also a result of cable theft, vandalism, illegal connections and appliance overloading by households, especially in winter.

He added that improving the infrastructure was their commitment to transform the city's electricity services "to become a world class African city and to gear up for the 2010 World Cup Soccer spectacular".

"The city has over the past two financial years invested a substantial amount of over R500 million in upgrading and consolidating the network".

Mr Zimu said for the current process of upgrading, 52 transformers were identified as "high risk" based on the standard industry assessment parameters.

Switchgears that have passed their 25 year life cycle also indicated urgent need for refurbishment.

"Ten new and two refurbished transformers will be installed. One refurbished transformer will arrive next week while all the others will arrive in May," Mr Zimu elaborated.

Councilor Brian Hlongwe expressed uneasiness about the impact power failures had on the economy.

He said during power outages businesses suffered huge financial losses, traffic lights stopped functioning that resulted in traffic congestion and inefficient delivery of goods.

"Gauteng contributes sixteen percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product, therefore electricity interruptions are a loss of money, businesses and investments from other provinces," he explained
The city has experienced 55 high voltage and 670 medium voltage power failures during 2004 and 2005.

Mr Hlongwe said due to the current growth of the city, urbanisation and immigration; something drastic needed to be done to minimise these power failures.

He added that they had been working with the Departments of Minerals and Energy and Provincial and Local Government because the City's targets were part of service delivery targets. 

Last modified on Monday, 04 November 2013 11:24

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