COMMENT

High cost of loadshedding felt in province – DA NCape

Dawid Kruiper municipality must pay R20m to replace damaged transformer

High cost of loadshedding felt in Northern Cape

10 February 2020

The high cost of loadshedding is having a detrimental effect on the Northern Cape.

DawidKruiper municipality has become the latest casualty of loadshedding, following serious damage to the high voltage transformer on a main power line, over a week ago. It is strongly suspected that the transformer burnt out as a result of the power surges caused by loadshedding. It is costing the municipality R20 million to replace the transformer.

In addition to the damage caused to the high voltage transformer, the town has, in recent months, also experienced a number of burnt out cables and the destruction of smaller transformers.

Residents were also slapped with a double-loadshedding schedule for over a week, before Eskom temporarily halted the implementation of its phased loadshedding in Upington, last Friday. This should spare residents further double-loadshedding until the transformer is up and running again, hopefully by the 19th of February.

While double-loadshedding in Upington has come to an end, it came with aggravated implications for the locals. One resident reported that the running costs of her mother’s oxygen cylinder, which must be used when the electric oxygen machine is rendered useless, added approximately R800 onto her daily expenses. Meanwhile, a local business reported spending as much as R15 000 per day to keep generators running and his business open.

The DA is calling on COGHSTA MEC, Bentley Vass, to take the matter of loadshedding-incurred damage to municipal infrastructure, up with his counterparts at national and with Eskom. Systems and measures need to be put in place to minimise infrastructural damage, and also to provide support to municipalities like DawidKruiper, that have, through no fault of their own, had to incur excessive expenditure as a result of Eskom’s power cuts.

Otherwise, if Eskom is not careful, it is going to face a slew of legal claims for damages. This is something that neither Eskom, local government, nor the people of the Northern Cape, can afford.

Issued by Harold McGluwaDA Northern Cape Provincial Chairperson & Chief Whip of the Provincial Caucus, 10 February 2020