Report on MMC’s fact-finding mission on City Power outages and an Update on the City’s Water Supply challenges


    The City of Johannesburg’s MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services Department (EISD), Cllr Mpho Moerane, embarked on a drive around the City today (Tuesday 03 November) to evaluate the damage to the electricity infrastructure following the storm over the weekend.

    “I started at the Nursery substation in Roodepoort to monitor the repairs after the roofing of the substation was blown off by the heavy storm on Saturday night. 
    “I am happy with the progress made by City Power personnel and I’m glad to say that we are on track to restore power by tomorrow (Wednesday) morning, if not earlier.

    “The damage was so severe, affecting the infrastructure’s feederboard, and we couldn’t even backfeed. The outage affected residents of Florida, Floracliff, Discovery, and Selwyn,” said MMC Moerane.

    The roofing has been rebuilt and the team has been busy, switchgear has been fixed and serviced, and testing and switching on and power is being gradually restored.
    The power outage from the Pennyville substation was fixed and power restored in Witpoortjie, Groblerpark, Princess yesterday (Monday evening). The power outage was caused by blown switchgear. The Eagle Canon area had a cable fault. Repair work was finished and power has been fully restored this afternoon.

    Most of the areas across the City were affected by the trees that fell on powerlines during the rainstorm.
    By Tuesday morning, City Power was dealing with 3730 open calls to report outages, with most of these from Roodepoort, Lenasia, and Hursthill area.

    In Hursthill, there’s a lot of outages because of uprooted trees that fell on the aerial line due to the adverse weather conditions. Work to rebuild those lines and poles is ongoing. We are working with City Parks to assist in cutting off and removing the fallen trees. 

    The same was recorded even in some areas around Lenasia, where overhead line poles were uprooted by the storm. The Siemert Road depot was also attending to damaged lines, which had affected the suburbs of Bellevue, Berea, Betrams and Bruma. This has resulted in multiple cable faults, which are being attended to.
    City Power contractors and technicians are working hard around the clock to deal with the backlogs and rebuild the infrastructure to ensure that power is restored.

    We appeal to the residents for patience and co-operation as the teams work on the backlog. We also want to assure the residents that there is no crisis with regard to the labour contracts.

    At least 129 companies have been on board, and almost half of those have already started working. The remaining ones are undergoing orientation and training process, which include health, safety and risk management. This will also address their challenges with compliance issues before they could start working.

    With the lights off, we are also aware that criminals see an opportunity to vandalise and steal the infrastructure. We appeal to the residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious activities around electricity infrastructure.

    For more information contact:  

    Stan Itshegetseng                                                                                      Deputy Director: Communications and Stakeholder Relations         

    Office of the MMC – EISD                                                                                                  Cell: 0837024778


    The City of Johannesburg MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services Department (EISD) Cllr Mpho Moerane wishes to give the City’s residents an update on the state of the water supply and reasons for the current interruptions. 

    On Wednesday, 21 October 2020, a power failure occurred at the Orlando substation, which supplies the Rand Water Eikenhof pump station with power, at about 8am. This is the pump station that supplies the Johannesburg Water Hursthill reservoir that feeds the South and West of Johannesburg.

    As a result of the power failure, the Hursthill reservoir lost capacity, and the Johannesburg Water team then started on the process to recover the reservoir and resume water supply,  which partly involves diverting water flow from Brixton and Crosby supply systems after hours. The recovery process was successful, and water was fully restored to the entire Hursthill area on Sunday, 25 October.

    The Hursthill supply was stable since 25 October, until the reservoir lost capacity again on Friday, 30 October. Upon their investigation on the reason for the loss of capacity, the Johannesburg Water team found that one valve gate on the bulk line was on closing position, and as a result no water going into the reservoir.

    The flow to the reservoir has since improved significantly, and the system is now in the process of recovery while being monitored closely. We expect that the entire system should be fully charged by late afternoon and the entire zone should then have water.  We have, however, confirmed with all affected areas in the morning and established that water has been restored.

    We appeal to residents to use water sparingly, which will ensure that the system recovers even faster. The MMC empathises with all the affected customers for their patience during this time, and will continue the oversight and monitoring together with Johannesburg Water to ensure that all issues are resolved and there is effective water supply.

    Johannesburg Water senior management team met with MMC Moerane at the Hurst Hill reservoir earlier today to do an oversight visit at the substation. The team was able to explain to the MMC the entire recovery process to get the reservoir back to full capacity.  Johannesburg Water continues to monitor the situation, and the reservoir is recovering well. 

    For more information contact:   

    Stan Itshegetseng                                                                                         Deputy Director: Communications and Stakeholder Relations                                                            

    Office of the MMC – EISD                                                                                                    Cell: 0837024778