Sir Lowry’s Pass Road upgrade causes brief power cuts


The series of brief power cuts, which has vexed people living near Heritage Park during mid-March, were caused by the re-routing of an electrical cable, according to the City of Cape Town.

“The City is currently upgrading of a portion of Sir Lowry’s Road, Somerset West. Due to the alignment of the new road, two 11kv electrical cables had to be relocated,” said utility services mayoral committee member, Ernest Sonnenberg..

“The cable deviation required that the electrical supply to consumers from Olive Grove, Fernwood, Dennegeur and Heritage Park be interrupted for short durations to close and open the normally open point between the Somerset West and Strand networks.

“The supply interruption lasted about one to two minutes. Furthermore, on Sunday March 13, maintenance was done on the electrical equipment at Heritage Park, which again required short power interruptions. These interruptions are regretted, however temporary interruptions are an unavoidable part of operating and maintaining the grid,” he explained.

A number of residents in the area told Bolander they had experienced a number of brief power cuts, some as short as 10 seconds, others up to 20 minutes over a period of a couple of weeks during mid-March.

Heritage Park resident Chris-topher Milne said: “The power went off unexpectedly a couple of days ago, and I thought we were out of electricity. I went to check the pre-paid metre, only to find that the power had been cut, and right there and then, the power came back on.

“About an hour later, the same thing happened again, but this time the outrage was for a few minutes.”

Ina Thiart and Marius Botha, both of Heritage Park, had similar experiences.

“I had two such power cuts, one very early (5am), and another at about midday on March 14,” said Ms Thiart.

“I had a random power cut on Saturday night (March 12) and again on Sunday (March 13, at noon), which lasted for about 20 minutes,” Mr Botha said.

“Such brief power cuts can cause damage to sensitive equipment, especially computer hard drives, which do not handle being cycled so rapidly,” said Mr Milne, adding that other equipment, electrical and electronic, may also sustain damage.

Mayoral committee member for finance, Ian Neilson, said residents who believe they have sustained damage as a result of the power cuts, can submit claims.

“The City advises that, should residents wish to submit a claim for damages, they can submit claims, with all supporting documents, in writing to the City of Cape Town’s claims section.

“Each claim is assessed on its own merit, which includes assessment of whether there has been any negligence or omission on the city’s side,” he said.

“Claims must be submitted to the insurance section either by email to za, fax to 021 400 1508/9 or post to: Chief Claims Administrator: Public Liability Claims, Insurance Section, 3rd Floor, Cape Town Civic Centre, Tower Block, 12 Hertzog Boulevard, Cape Town, 8001.

“Once the City has received the claimant’s formal correspondence, a reference number will be provided for all future liaison,” Mr Neilson said.