Dark, cold weekend for Pretoria East residents after substation goes up in flames

The City of Tshwane expects to have power restored to Pretoria East residents only on Sunday, member of the mayoral committee Darryl Moss told News24 on Thursday. 

The 132KV Wapadrand substation caught flames, leaving households in the dark since Tuesday.

Moss said the city has had to rebuild the whole station, as it was totally destroyed. 

He added that the costs of fixing the damage at the substation, judging from their previous station that caught fire in Mooikloof in 2017, would be almost R80m. 

Moss added that another substation in Pretoria West had almost caught alight, but city officials had managed to attend to it on time. It is functioning again.

He said the process of restoring the electricity in the affected areas would be a step by step process, because restoring it at the same time would overload the system.

"We have really tried feeding the affected areas with power from other areas but we couldn't find any capacity to feed from anywhere else," Moss said.   

Areas including Faerie Glen, Equestria, Silver Lakes, Lombardy, Zwavelpoort and Olympus were left in the dark as a result of the fire at the station.

City of Tshwane spokesperson Selby Moeketsi Bokaba said the technical teams have been hard at work trying to reconstruct the substation.

He said they had initially underestimated the extent of the damage at the station that would have seen power restored sooner. 

Bokaba added that going forward, new stations would be designed in a way that separates three compartments via a fire wall. This, to ensure that fire is contained within one room of the building and does not affect other parts. 

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