Back To The Drawing Board For City Power As Eldorado Park Transformer Blows Up

Back To The Drawing Board For City Power As Eldorado Park Transformer Blows Up..  Hours after declaring imminent success in resolving the Eldorado Park power crisis, efforts by City Power to restore power to the area hit a snag on Wednesday afternoon when a transformer blew up at the substation when it was ready to be phased in.


“The explosion affected the first transformer which also tripped on impact. The first transformer was successfully livened up yesterday and was ready to take customer loads by midday today,” City Power said in a statement.

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City Power said it managed to switch on Goldev switching substation at 2.55pm and restored customers in Freedom Park, Mpumelelo and Devland, among others.

“The explosion happened at 3.15pm and has left all the areas, mostly around Eldorado Park, affected.”

Most of Eldorado Park and its surrounding areas have been without power since the substation blew up and caught fire on Good Friday.

With the latest developments, City Power said customers who were connected before the transformer exploded would be reconnected by Wednesday evening. They planned to replace the blown-up transformer on Thursday. 

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“Unfortunately we have no estimated time of restoration for the rest of the customers,” City Power said. 

The Eldorado substation houses three giant transformers — the third being a backup — and a feeder board.

Tiro Mokgosi, acting general manager of the Lenasia service delivery centre, who leads the repair work, said the  feeder board is like a giant version of a domestic distribution board, and is where the wires and cables feeding power to different areas are housed.

Investigations into what caused the substation fire are ongoing. The possibilities that have been punted are: worn-out infrastructure suddenly blowing up, failed efforts by cable thieves to steal the high-voltage lines; and — as speculated by Joburg Mayor Dr Mpho Phalatse — deliberate sabotage.

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