Home South Africa News 55 faulty cables in Kempton Park haven’t been repaired since 2012, says...

55 faulty cables in Kempton Park haven’t been repaired since 2012, says DA

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Eskom electricity pylons

‘One such cable is that from the Spartan substation to the Van Riebeeck Park substation, which should have been repaired nearly two years ago.’

At least 55 faulty cables in Kempton Park, which include high voltage cables, have not been repaired by the City of Ekurhuleni (CoE).

This is according to a declaration read out in parliament by Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Mike Waters, who is also a constituency head of Kempvale.

He said documentation in the DA’s possession showed that faulty cables reported as far back as January 2012 had not been fixed.

“One such cable is that from the Spartan substation to the Van Riebeeck Park substation, which should have been repaired nearly two years ago.

“This led to the Van Riebeeck Park substation being unable to direct electricity to the Glen Marais feeder area.

“In my previous declaration, I mentioned the fact that CoE accounts for nearly a quarter of the entire Gauteng economy of which Kempton Park accounts for 26.4% of the City’s economy or six per cent of the entire Gauteng economy.

“The residents and industries within the greater Kempton Park area have been subjected to prolonged and increasing power outages. This report pertains to a petition relating to a fire at a major substation in Glen Marais.

“The lack of maintenance was the cause of the fire as there were faulty breakers, faulty protection relays and faulty battery banks, which were supposed to supply the protection relays with power.

“This prevented the breakers from opening when the fault occurred, thereby causing the explosion,” said Waters.

“For six days residents sat in the dark in the middle of winter smelling their food rot and many people had no spare money to buy food and had to rely on the donations of others. To this day, CoE has not compensated one person for the loss of their food.

“The travesty of it all is that residents did not have to be without electricity for a single day if the metro had fulfilled its basic functions, such as repairing faulty cables,” he added.

The declaration further addressed the situation at the Kempton Park Electricity Depot, which is so serious that cable faults cannot be detected unless the cable has actually been stolen or where there is a physical hole in the ground.

Electricians only have one working testing trailer between them.

“The general decay of the infrastructure has become so dire that electricians refuse to enter certain substations due to them being so unsafe. When repairs have to be done, whole areas are switched off instead of just specific areas. This causes unnecessary power disruptions to residents and industries.”

Waters said he wrote to the National Energy Regulator in June, requesting they investigate the circumstances leading to the Glen Marais fire, and to determine whether the City has transgressed any of its licence obligations.

“I have followed up my initial letter informing them of the dire situation at the Kempton Park Electricity Depot and the documentation proving that the 55 faulty cables have not been repaired. I have also requested that their investigation be expanded to the entire metro and not just focus on Kempton Park.”

-The Citizen

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