Collapsed pylons – 48 hours in the dark and counting for many Tshwane residents, City asks Eskom for help
While power has been restored to some areas, about 44 are still without electricity after seven powerlines collapsed on Sunday, allegedly owing to vandalism.
The City of Tshwane says it is in the process of reconnecting areas affected by the collapse of the pylons along the N4 east freeway between Solomon Mahlangu and Simon Vermooten roads.
Newly elected mayor Cilliers Brink said: “A core priority was getting the lines removed from the N4 which was reopened yesterday afternoon.”
However, many Pretoria East and North residents were still without power on Tuesday morning. These areas include:
Baviaanspoort Prison, Queenswood, Boschkop, Derdepoort (Zambezi Manor), Donkerhoek, Doornpoort, Eersterust, Garsfontein, Glenway Estate, Grootvlei East and West, Kameeldrift, Kilner Park, Leeuwfontein, Mamelodi, Montana Park, Moregloed, Pretorius Park, Pumulani, Roodepark, Rooiwal, Sable Hills, Silverton, Sinoville, Vastfontein Ext, Waltloo, Wapadrand, Waterval, Waverley, Woodhill, Woodlands, Zeekoegat, Bergtuin, Koedoespoort Industrial, Weavind Park, Jan Niemand Park, Montana, Montana Park, Montana Gardens, Pyramid, Haakdoornfontein, Lusthof, Bultfontein, Honningneskrans and East Lynne.
According to the City, the incident not only left many parts of the city without power but also led to the loss of 300 megawatts of power in a country battling to stabilise its electricity supply.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Hand-to-Mouth: South Africa’s power lifeline frays as Eskom scrambles for diesel
The incident also led to a car pile-up in which two people were reportedly injured, as well as the closure of the N4 freeway’s on- and off-ramps.
“Preliminary findings by the City’s energy and electricity team suggest that three pylons were vandalised which caused powerlines to fall and collapse on the road, leading to the closure of the freeway,” said City spokesperson Selby Bokaba.
Brink added: “I’m told by councillors in the area that there have been several attempts and repairs over a period of time to steal the metal that forms part of the pylon. There is a possibility that this is what happened… the incident was due to criminal vandalism and the extent of the problem is enormous. We cannot make promises but will keep the public informed.”
Getting power back
While the estimated time for restoration of power to all affected areas has not been made known to the public yet, it has been restored to these areas:
Die Hoewes, Equestria, Faerie Glen, Hazeldean, Lombardy Estate, Lombardy Meander, Lyttelton, Mooikloof, Mooiplaats, Moreletapark, Olympus, Paramount Estates, Pretorious Ext 40, Shere, Silver Lakes, Six Fountains, The Wilds, Tygervalley, Willow Acres, Woodlands Boulevard and Zwavelpoort.
The City said on Tuesday morning it was prioritising energising the Pumulani Substation which feeds Mamelodi and other areas that are still out. Bokaba added that the City was also exploring back-feeding Silverton, Koedoespoort and Riviera, all the way up to Waltloo.
City of Tshwane manager Johann Mettler has since written to Eskom to ask for help with labour, materials and equipment to fast-track power restoration. DM