“Hard rock formations, faulty equipment, and stage 6 load shedding”
According to Western Cape premier, Alan Winde, these were among the challenges experienced during weekend operations in the Central Karoo. Teams are still working to restore electricity in several parts of the region – where electricity towers were damaged during thunderstorm earlier this month.
Winde notes that repair work was hindered, after the breakdown of a rock drill. He says Eskom workers were drilling the last four holes into the hard rock formation, in which poles will be anchored – these poles will hold up electrical lines. But with a faulty drill, no work can be completed.
“The Western Cape Government has already over the weekend reached out to equipment and transport contractors to assist Eskom in procuring another drilling rig as well as an additional 20-ton and 35-ton excavator.”
Stage six power cuts
Since being plunged into stage six loadshedding on Saturday, Winde says generator availability was stretched to its limit. He noted that several municipalities in the province had borrowed its generators to the region, but needed it returned with the implementation of the higher stage.
The generators are needed to keep water, sewage, and other municipality functions operating.
“We must allocate generator capacity where it is being utilised optimally at this stage. As such, it was worrying to learn of a large 65kVA loan generator from the Garden Route District Municipality that broke down in Kannaland over the weekend.”
Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell, says at least four more generators are needed for critical infrastructure in Leeu Gamka and Prince Albert.
Eskom says its teams are pushing to meet, or even complete restoration work before, the Thursday, 15 February deadline.
The power utility thanked the affected communities in the Central Karoo for their patience during this time.