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NMBM condemns kite tail activity as electricity repair work stands at 90% to restore KwaNobuhle

Published: May 02, 2024

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The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has urged communities to stand against dangerous kite tail activity, especially under electricity lines following major damage to electricity infrastructure during the recent power outages that affected the Kariega

area.


During a media briefing on Thursday, 2 May 2024, Acting Electricity and Energy Portfolio Head, Cllr Khanya Ngqisha updated residents from KwaNobuhle at the Mabandla Substation where he outlined the cause of the electricity challenges and the work currently underway to restore stable power supply in the area.


This comes after two major power outages that occurred on 10 and 11 April 2024 in

Kariega.


MMC Ngqisha said: "On 11 April 2024, after repairs on the 66kV Mabandla/San Souci Line 1 were completed during testing of 66kV Mabandla/San Souci Line 1, a fault occurred, impacting the KwaNobuhle area and nearby regions. An investigation

uncovered kite tail activities were identified as the primary cause for the faults, which led to the conductive wires coming into contact with the steel structure and subsequently causing an earth fault due to strong winds on the 10th and 11th April 2024.”


The Metro working with key stakeholders will enhance its education and awareness programme to discourage children from playing kites under power lines.


"Upon detection of the subsequent fault, immediate intervention was carried out by the Municipality, including the separation of 66kV bus bars at San Souci Substation to minimise customer impact. Tollgate Substation remained unaffected during the fault. Additionally, protection settings at San Souci Substation were reviewed to prevent the fault escalating to the Chatty Substation.”


"We then took a decision that instead of a total black out, we should rather implement a load reduction program to cushion our community. This is implemented during peak

hours in the evenings when the demand is higher. This process was also done in

consultation with all ward Councillors who are representatives of the people of KwaNobuhle and a link between the municipality and our constituencies,” said MMC

Ngqisha.


The immediate repair work which started after the faults occurred is at 90%

completion, with the final work expected to commence on Friday, 3 May 2024. The work is carried out at a cost of R450 000. As a short to medium term intervention,

NMBM will unload some areas from the Mabandla substation and connect them to the New Nivens Drift substation at an estimated cost of R8million. This medium-term solution aims to enhance the reliability and stability of the electrical network in the area.


"This fault was caused by a kite tale which happens when our kids fly their kites close to our overhead lines which cause flashes for their own amusement. These kite tail faults are very costly and expensive to repair. We need parents and all community leaders and members to lead from the front and ensure children do not play with these kites close to power lines. For instance, our costs on repairs is currently sitting at R30 million and the work will include underground cable repairs, underground cable refurbishment and unloading of the Mabandla Substation. We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused and we want to assure residents that we are assessing progress on a daily basis so we are confident that in two weeks’ time the load reduction intervention will be a thing of the past,” said MMC Ngqisha.


Ends.


Issued by NMBM Communications Office.


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