Joburg CBD Could Remain In Darkness Till Sunday, Warns City Power

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Johannesburg central business district is not likely to have electricity restored until Sunday, City Power warned on Thursday.

Since the underground fire on Monday morning that burnt supply cables cutting off electricity to the central business district, Joburg Emergency Services and City Power have been on the scene.

“The mop-up operations and the recovery of damaged equipment and cables in the underground tunnels took longer than anticipated,” said City Power Spokesperson Isaac Mangena.

The teams only managed to get underground on Wednesday, two days after the fire ravaged the tunnels plunging most of the CBD and east of Joburg into darkness.

Mangena said the delay in mopping up and the two days it took Joburg Emergency Services to put out the fire, meant that City Power technicians could not start their work underground as planned.

The work includes the laying of 400m of new cables and their associated joints, to replace those burnt in the blaze.

“As such we are not able to finish repairs on time and restore electricity to the remaining affected customers, especially those in Selby, Village Deep, Wemmer, Westgate, New Central, and parts of some CBD streets that include Ntemi Piliso, Anderson, Marshall, Main, Commissioner,” said Mangena.

“While Anderson Street distributor tested clear and is ready to be switched on, we are not able to for safety reasons as its running underground tunnel along where the fire started, and teams are busy working there.

“We are now hoping to finish the repairs and restore power by the end of the weekend.

“We apologise to the affected customers for the inconvenience caused.”

Mangena said investigations into the cause and cost of the fire were ongoing.