Residents of Thusivillage and Cassim Park are currently experiencing power outages daily.
This issue has been bubbling under the surface and came to a boiling point in recent weeks when Thusivillage residents took to the N11 Hendrina road and protested over the electricity outages.
Residents are disgruntled because the municipality is not forthcoming with information.
According to Msukaligwa Municipality, illegal connections are the cause of outages in Wesselton.
“The major cause is illegal electricity connections that cause the network to overload and trip because the demand exceeds the supply, meaning there are more people who use electricity that what the network was designed for,” said the municipal spokesman, Mr Mandla Zwane, when the municipality took on an operation to disconnect illegal connections in the township three weeks ago.
After reports of Cassim Park also experiencing similar outages, the Highvelder made an enquiry at the municipal office as to whether Cassim Park is also experiencing these outages because of illegal connections.
The municipality stood by its stance, saying the illegal connections bring additional stress to the system, however, Cassim Park has its own problem related to the current condition of the low-voltage (LV) network.
“The LV network is currently in a bad shape in terms of its state of repair, however the municipality has taken steps to refurbish the entire LV network at Cassim Park,” Mr Zwane said.
Mr Zwane added that a contractor has been on site since mid-June 2018 to attend to this matter.
He added that the municipality is looking to the second week of September for the completion of this maintenance project and the community of Cassim Park would be left with a refurbished LV network and new operational streetlights.
While Cassim Park’s problem is nearly fixed, Wesselton’s one still persists.
The Highvelder enquired about a sub-station in Ext 34 and if it is a possible solution to the power outages in Wesselton.
As previously reported in the newspaper, the sub-station in question was supposed to have been completed in June this year and will provide electricity to Ext 32, 33 and 34 townships and new developments planned in that area.
The municipality said the commissioning date for that project has been revised to 30 September because the incoming line is still only 70 per cent complete.
When the newspaper visited the sub-station on Thursday, 26 July, the gates were locked and there was not a security guard or a construction worker on site.
Unfortunately, the sub-station is not the answer to Wesselton’s problems and will not have any impact on the township’s network.
However, it is not all bad news as the municipality said plans are underway to reinforce the network in the township and the new Ext 7.
“A proposed switching station is in the pipeline for construction in the financial year 2019/2020 and the alleviation of the problems in Wesselton will be realised by the establishment of the switching station,” Mr Zwane said.
He added though that this is only a proposal and is still in the early stages, but work has begun with the planning and more information will be released as the process progresses.
The Highvelder will be following the story and planning of the switching station as it develops.