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Joburg Water, City Power work to mitigate power-related water supply challenges


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Joburg Water, City Power work to mitigate power-related water supply challenges

19th October 2022

By: Natasha Odendaal
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Johannesburg Water’s Commando system is set to be prioritised after several setbacks over the past few weeks.

Despite a rapid same-day resolution following a power failure at Rand Water’s Vereeniging water works on September 23, which resulted in a 50% reduction in bulk water supply to the Eikenhof pumpstation and impacted the high-lying areas of the Crosby, Brixton and Hurst Hill supply zones, another power failure set back the recovery of the system.


Before the system could recover fully, which takes about four to five days, on September 25, Rand Water’s Vereeniging works experienced a total power failure just after midnight which was only resolved six hours later, said Johannesburg Water MD Ntshavheni Mukwevho during a media briefing on the proposed interventions to address water challenges experienced in some parts of the City of Johannesburg.

On September 29, Rand Water experienced a pump trip at its Eikenhof system for about three hours, reducing the pumpstation capacity by 40%, negatively impacting the Commando system which was already vulnerable owing to previous incidents.


Further, Rand Water had a power supply issue on September 30 at its Zuikerbosh purification works, which again had a 60% impact on the supply to Eikenhof for about six hours.

By October 3, Rand Water took 200 Ml/day supply from the Eikenhof system to boost their Palmiet system which was at a critical stage.

“This load shift basically affected our Commando Road supply meter and some of the reservoirs in the south of Johannesburg. The impact was that all the gains made to stabilise the system following the September 30 incident were lost,” he explains.

However, as of Tuesday, October 18, with the bulk supplier having supplied the required volumes for this area, the entity has started seeing signs of improvement.

“We are currently working with all relevant stakeholders, including Rand Water and City Power to minimise the impact of the recent challenges,” he says, further highlighting Johannesburg Water’s plans to invest R340-million over the next three years to expand the Commando system’s scope and infrastructure to ensure continuous water supply to the residents of the City of Johannesburg.

City Power CEO Tshifularo Mashava explains that Eikenhof substation, which supplies Rand Water, is currently supplied power by City Power from the bulk station in Fordsburg through a switching station in Orlando.

Short-term maintenance of the Orlando switching station and Eikenhof was done to ensure optimal functioning of the network, she says, adding that there are also plans to expedite the completion of the Mondeor project, which is currently at 90%, to ensure alternative bulk supply to Eikenhof substation from Prospect substation.

City Power is working with Joburg Water to ensure the supply of water is not interrupted.

“One of the things we are looking at is to see how to exclude them from loadshedding. The problem currently is that most of Johannesburg Water facilities are embedded within our network, making it difficult to exempt them. We are also looking at partnering with them on the off-grid solutions,” she concludes.


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