NEWS & ANALYSIS

Sabotage suspected in Eikenhof substation fire – Herman Mashaba

Joburg Mayor says video shows fire originated outside the transformer

Sabotage suspected in Eikenhof substation fire

28 August 2018

This afternoon, it was brought to my attention that City Power officials suspect that the cause of the fire at Eikenhof substation on Monday may have been the result of a deliberate act of sabotage.

A video has emerged which proves that the fire had originated outside the transformer at the substation. Further to this, the transformer appeared to have been maliciously damaged so that it would leak oil onto the fire. These facts are simply not consistent with a fire originating from an electrical fault.

Evidence of this can be seen here. I have requested that City Power immediately refer this matter to the City’s Group Forensics and Investigation Services (GFIS) and the South African Police Services for further investigation.

This administration stands for the rule of law and for ensuring that all our infrastructure is effectively utilised for the benefit our residents. We therefore cannot allow criminals to visit wanton acts of crime on City infrastructure.

This substation provides electricity to large surrounding areas of residents and businesses, and powers the Rand Water facility in the vicinity. The Rand Water infrastructure, powered by this substation, pumps water to approximately 40% of Johannesburg, as well as parts of the West Rand and Rustenberg.

City Power engineers and technicians have worked throughout the night to repair the substation.

To alleviate the situation, a newly refurbished transformer has been brought in and has been tested. It is estimated the repairs on the residential lines should be done by 18h00 this evening.  At the same time, power should return to Rand Water pumps and all affected areas should be fully restored within the next 24 hours. 

Thankfully, due to our recent budget allocations in this current financial year, City Power has been in a position to begin refurbishing a number of our transformers. In this instance, this has allowed City Power to quickly react to the situation. This is the real change, we have been working to bring to the city.

I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the technicians for their continued work in effecting the needed repairs with the urgency they have achieved for our residents.

I will be ensuring that the City, working with law enforcement agencies and the NPA, bring the perpetrators of this act to justice in the harshest possible manner. When key infrastructure of this nature is vandalised, it is a crime against the people of our City, our economy and our security.

We will update our residents on the situation via our city platforms. For more information, please follow us on Twitter @CityPowerJHB.

Issued by Luyanda Mfeka, Director: Mayoral Communications, Office of the Executive Mayor, Herman Mashaba, 28 August 2018