Electricity to be restored by midday

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pretoria - Electricity to those parts of the Pretoria city centre that have been without electricity since Tuesday could be restored by midday today.

The areas affected are those to the west of the CBD, south of Church Street, west of Paul Kruger Street, and east of Schutte Street. Therefore, the areas west of the CBD, including Pretoria West Industrial Park, are without power.

The electricity was disrupted due to attempted theft of cables.

According to the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality spokesperson Console Tleane, the thieves cut the insulation sheath that covers the cable together with the oil that provides lubrication and other technical support to the cable. 

The oil spilled, causing the power to trip. Because of the delicate nature of this particular infrastructure it has taken some time for the engineers to fix the problem. 

"It has emerged that the thieves did not manage to steal the cables. They, however, caused huge damage to infrastructure," he said.

The particular cable that was the target of illegal activities is a 30 square centimetre copper cable that carried 132 kilovolts of electricity it also supplies parts of the CBD.

Municipal technical teams have continued to work non-stop to repair the damage, and will keep on doing so until the power is fully restored, said the municipality.

Tshwane Metro Police have been deployed to assist with traffic control in those parts of the city where traffic lights have been affected. 

The power failure has affected proceedings at the Pretoria Magistrate Court, although officials are making use of an emergency generator to supply lights to the courts. The Department of Justice has advised maintenance beneficiaries collect their money at Atteridgeville and Pretoria North courts. 

Power failures can be reported by sms. Residents must please sms the word power followed by their account number to 0826120333 or via phone 0801111556, and choose Option 3.