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Fire at a Durban substation leaves four suburbs in the dark

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A major substation in Klaarwater caught fire on Wednesday, 13 March 2019, leaving four Durban suburbs in the dark.

The explosion of a transformer in a substation has left the suburbs of Pinetown, Chatsworth, Northdene and Mariannhill, in the dark. Initially, residents thought the power outage was due to load shedding, however, according to Eskom, the last load shedding was implemented on 15 February and no load shedding was scheduled currently.

A statement from the power utility read, “However, the risk of load shedding remains high for the next few days, but it will only be implemented if absolutely necessary. It could be implemented at short notice should there be a significant shift in plant performance. This could include a significant loss in generating plant due to unplanned technical breakdowns.”

eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela confirmed that the power outage was due to a transformer explosion. He issued an apology to affected residents.

“The city can confirm that a transformer in one of its major substations in Klaarwater has been guttered by fire plunging Chartsworth, Pinetown and greater Queensburgh suburbs into darkness.

“eThekwini Municipality sincerely apologises for the inconvenience this will cause to residents. Our teams are at the scene and working unceasingly to restore power as soon possible,” he said.

Authorities at the scene say the fire started at around 14:45 on Wednesday and that investigations are underway to determine the cause of the fire.

In mid-March 2018, the City experienced a similar incidence that left it in darkness. That fire was linked to maintenance issues.

Abenathi Gqomo
[email protected]

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