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Repairs to Alexandra substation in 2020 due to vandalism cost R12m - City Power

It took City Power almost a week to replace and repair infrastructure at the Vasco da Gama switching substation in Alexandra after vandals targeted it for a third time on Sunday, resulting in an explosion.

Components damaged in the explosion at the Vasco da Gama switching substation in Alexandra. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - The City of Johannesburg on Friday said that it had spent an estimated R12 million this year alone to repair the Vasco da Gama switching substation in Alexandra as a result of vandalism.

It took City Power almost a week to replace and repair infrastructure at the substation after vandals targeted it again on Sunday, resulting in an explosion.

“We finished doing the job in the morning and we were waiting just to basically restore but we were delayed by Eskom, which requested emergency isolation because they wanted to do some maintenance on Malboro substation, which feeds into Vasco da Gama. So, everyone is currently with electricity,” said City Power’s spokesperson Isaac Mangena.

This was the third time that the station had been hit by criminals who tried to steal copper.

It costs City Power R4 million to replace and repair infrastructure each time thieves rip out cables at the Vasco da Gama switching substation.

All three times this year it ended in an explosion that impacted not only the city but also the community who had to suffer a week without power. Mangena said that this was money the city did not have.

The City of Johannesburg was in talks with the police and community policing forums to come up with alternative ways on how to safeguard its infrastructure and prevent this from happening again.

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