A fault at a power station and cable theft resulted in power outages in two areas in and around Johannesburg on Monday, Eskom said.
“Earlier today the Kelvin power station experienced a fault, which meant that it could not energise its supply areas in Johannesburg,” Eskom said in a statement.
“Power has now been restored to all affected areas,” it said. “Customers that are still affected by the earlier outages should contact City Power.”
In addition, the north part of Orlando West and Dube experienced a power outage on Monday due to cable theft, but Eskom said power was restored at around 7:30.
“Due to the nature of an electrical network, power outages can occur at any time,” Eskom said.
“Eskom has technical teams on standby in the event that a local power outage occurs,” it said. “The intention is to minimise the incidents of faults and to shorten restoration times.
“Eskom’s planned maintenance of its distribution network is ongoing and Eskom customers will be advised directly when this will be affected in their areas.”
Why current power outages are not load shedding
Eskom has not implemented load shedding for over 10 months, but electricity outages in Johannesburg have been occurring recently.
“There have been massive power outages in Soweto and other areas around Gauteng,” Eskom said on Thursday. “The power frequently goes out at about the same time on cold winter nights and people mistake these outages for load shedding.
“There are many reasons behind power outages, but in winter power outages are mainly caused by the overloading of the power system.
“The network overloads because too many people are trying to use a network, which is designed for one household per stand. Also, customers who are not paying for their electricity tend to be wasteful in the way they use it.
“Eskom installs fuses or circuit breakers that switch off when the load gets to dangerous levels, thus preventing the transformer from exploding.
“Sometimes residents bypass these safety features and the transformer does explode. Not only is this dangerous, but these transformers may take hours or days to repair.
“Eskom remains concerned about the safety of the communities which may be at risk due to the escalating number of illegal connections, meter bypassing or tampering which amounts to electricity theft, and vandalism of electricity infrastructure.”
Eskom loses over R2bn a year due to electricity theft, it said.
“The losses suffered by the country as a whole when including municipalities, is at least double the Eskom figure,” Eskom said.
“We are taking steps to combat cable theft in collaboration with the joint industry working group formed by Eskom, Transnet, Telkom, the South African Police Service, the National Prosecuting Authority, Business Against Crime and the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry.”