Joburg City Power asks residents to assist in monitoring substations

The regional power utility says its private security personnel, along with the JMPD have had to evacuate several displaced people who seek shelter in their substations during the rainy season.

The Newclare mini-substation being reinstalled after it exploded while a homeless person was occupying it. Picture: CityPowerJhb/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Johannesburg City Power has called on residents to assist them in monitoring its substations after witnessing a rise in the number of homeless people taking refuge in the properties.

The regional power utility says its private security personnel, along with the Johannesburg Metro Police Department have had to evacuate several displaced people who seek shelter in their substations during the rainy season.

At least one man died on Friday after a switch carrying 88,000 kilowatts of power exploded while he was occupying a substation in Newclare.

City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena says the homeless people enter the substations by breaking off the locks that are used to prevent unqualified entry.

He says the problem creates a major setback: “It’s really one issue that is really problematic for us as the city; one that actually costs us a lot a lot of money. I’m talking about almost R1 million. One substation costs us about R600,000 on its own.”

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)