New transformer arrives

New transformer arrives
Electricity Transformer in Piet Retief Mkhondo

After Mkhondo faced regular power outages over the course of almost two weeks, the problems will soon be something of the past as Mkhondo Local Municipality’s new transformer arrived in town on Tuesday, 18 September.

Power cuts, load shedding and being left in the dark will in fact not be the norm in Mkhondo as the new transformer is set to be the solution to all our electricity problems.

The Excelsior News visited the substation, situated near the old cemetery on the N2, on Tuesday, shortly after the transformer had been delivered. We had an interview with the Municipal Manager, Mr Kunene and Mkhondo Local Municipality’s General Manger, Ms Lugongolo on site to discuss the process of going forward from here.

As mentioned in the previous week’s edition of the Excelsior News, one of the town’s transformers failed on Saturday, 8 September, due to unforeseen circumstances and the municipality started to inform the community that they were doing their best to restore the electricity. They notified the public shortly thereafter that they were forced to start with load shedding as the one functioning transformer could not carry the maximum demand of electricity.

If they overloaded the working transformer, it might have resulted in a complete blow-out, which would have left the town in the dark for an undetermined period of time. The municipality did everything in their power to source a new transformer whilst the faulty one was being repaired. They were in contact with Eskom, but unfortunately they were not able to be of assistance.

Mr Kunene then managed to secure a 20MVA transformer from Ermelo and was able to arrange for a quick delivery, which took place on Tuesday. He mentioned to the Excelsior News that one must bear in mind that you cannot buy a transformer off the shelf and it in some cases, can take between 12 to 18 months to secure delivery thereof, including all its parts and equipment.

The current plan is already in motion and the faulty transformer has been sent away for repairs. Upon its return, the transformer will be stored and be used as a spare or a back-up whenever needed. Furthermore, Ms Lugongolo stated that the community of Mkhondo should be aware of the plans that are set in motion.

The municipality is in the process of a complete upgrade of the electricity system and the contractors are already on site. This process will take some time and the public are therefore being urged to be patient. With regards to the load shedding schedule, Mkhondo Local Municipality would like to inform the community that the schedule will remain unchanged until further notice.

Installing the new transformer is a process on its own and cannot happen overnight. It is also important for the community to realise that despite the dire situation with the faulty transformer, the municipality was still able to supply the community with sufficient electricity throughout the time and businesses did not suffer because of the power interruptions. Please use electricity sparingly while the new transformer is being installed and set up.

We all know that it is quite frustrating to be left in the dark without notification, but at least we are not without electricity for days on end. The power supply is being monitored to shed the load where it seems to be overloaded. Let’s hope that this new dawn rising over Mkhondo will bring an end to our electricity problems and bring some new, positive “light” to the community!