Residents have fallen into the routine of internal load shedding and endure their two and a half hours daily without electricity. Then all of a sudden on Sunday 16 August, the electricity went off for approximately five hours. Little did residents know that this was only the tip of the iceberg and only the start of many more electricity problems to come.
At the time, residents were informed through a Councillor’s WhatsApp group that there was a faulty cable. Some residents’ electricity had to be re-routed to another line and they would be on a different area than usual on the schedule for the internal load shedding.
From Sunday the electricity started going off at random times throughout town. Residents were informed on Tuesday 18 August, that a transformer had been leaking oil before Sunday, when the problems started.
A contractor was called in to assess the problem and provided a quote to do the repairs. Reportedly two options were considered: option 1 was to remove the leaking gasket and replace it with a new one. If the warranty was still applicable it would be claimed. Option 2 was to install the newly refurbished transformer at bay 2.
On Wednesday morning at 06:00 residents once again woke up to no electricity. Eskom load shedding was also implemented, adding another two and a half hours without electricity. Some areas were off for more than the allocated two and a half hours, from 15:00 until approximately 22:00. Other areas were affected from 16:00 until approximately 20:00. Some homes were even without electricity from 14:30 until 07:30 the next day! A resident reported that in 26 hours they only had electricity for a mere two hours.
According to a message received from MLM, the functioning transformer can only supply 14.5 MVA, this is well below the required MVA that is needed for the entire town.
As if the electricity problems weren’t already a great irritation, the water, or lack thereof, created even more problems for residents after a water pipe burst on the corner of Retief – and Von Brandis Street. Another water pipe in Olivier Street burst on the same day, Wednesday 19 August.
By Thursday 20 August, there was still no improvement in the electricity situation as areas in town were once again off from 15:00 until approximately 23:00. Some places were still off until the next morning at 06:30.
On Friday 21 August, the water reservoir in town was empty because of the lack of electricity and residents in higher areas had their water only returning the next morning but, many residents were still without water at 12:00 on Saturday 22 August. More residents reported that their water only returned on Sunday morning-muddy and couldn’t be used.
The Excelsior News has requested an update regarding the electricity situation from the MLM but, at time of print we had not yet received feedback.
Hopefully there is a plan to rectify this situation as the electrical appliances of the residents are giving in with this constant fluctuation of electricity.
Businesses are also suffering as their doors have to close during the off periods and this causes a great loss in income.