Phomolong substation a testament to ANC failure – Refiloe Nt’sekhe

DA Ekurhuleni MC says R70m spent on unfinished substation in Thembisa

DA reveals R70 million unfinished Phomolong Substation; a testament to ANC failure in Ekurhuleni

18 October 2021

Note to Editors:  Please find attached soundbite by DA Ekurhuleni Mayoral Candidate Refiloe Nt'sekhe MPL

Today the DA protested at a Phomolong substation in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni, because after a R70-million budget, it remains a failed, unfinished, incomplete project – and the surrounding area constantly suffers power outages.

Across Ekurhuleni, over 1000 power outages are suffered each day due to ailing and dilapidated infrastructure.

All that can be shown for this Phomolong substation is a single top structure and an open piece of land.

Photo can be access here, here.

I took the opportunity today to reiterate the DA pledge for Electricity Security in Ekurhuleni, if the DA is voted in to govern this Metro. The pledge entails:

We will incentivise Independent Power Producers (IPP’s) to feed energy back to the grid. This will be alleviating the dependency that this City has on Eskom.

Upon assuming office, the DA will professionalise the energy department by filling funded vacancies as a priority. We will increase capacity and reduce overtime expenditure.

The DA will ensure that there is proper maintenance for all electricity infrastructure in the City.

This will include implementing a smart stock control system within the energy department to ensure that parts are on hand when needed and that there is no shortage of stock.

The introduction of a performance dashboard will ensure that faults and outrages are attended to in time by alerting the energy department directly.

Performance monitoring and evaluation mechanisms will be used to track CAPEX project performance and hold officials and contractors responsible to account.

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) recommended the municipality employ 1500 staff  in the department, yet there are only 879 staff employed. There are well over 300 funded vacancies in the department.

It is incomprehensible that a municipality which battles with the volume of daily outages such as Ekurhuleni that funded positions for skilled technicians would remain vacant.

Compounded to this, the stores of the energy department are in disarray and no stock controls mechanisms are put into practice. When there are outages, across the municipality, replacement components are often out of stock and need to be sourced elsewhere.

This creates lengthy delays in responding to outages and extra financial costs.

Capital expenditure, as evidenced by this substation, is not spent wisely on new projects while contract prices are inflated.

In the last two financial years, the municipality has incurred R2.5 billion loss of revenue due to illegal connections while there has only been one arrest made in connection with these illegal connections.

If the ANC-led municipality was serious about providing residents with the services that they so desperately need, and spent its CAPEX prudently, there would be no need for residents to connect illegally to the grid.

Illegal connections are synonymous with a government that cares little for the plight of its people.

The lack of secure energy supply in Ekurhuleni will fast track job shedding where there is already a high 39% unemployment rate in Ekurhuleni.

The Phomolong substation stands testament to this ANC lead government taking voters for granted.

Yet, there is hope for the residents of Ekurhuleni as the DA has a plan to restore power back to the people.

Come 1 November, the DA will keep Ekurhuleni’s lights on.

Issued by Refiloe Nt’sekhe, DA Ekurhuleni Mayoral Candidate, 18 October 2021