Pretoria and East Rand taps run dry after criminals vandalise power

Large parts of the Tshwane and Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipalities have been left without water after criminals vandalised electrical infrastructure supplying a Rand Water pumping station. Several other power failures over the weekend compounded the problem.

The Mapleton Booster Station suffered a power supply failure around 17:00 on Friday, 14 April 2023.

The station gets its power from the City of Ekurhuleni, but the problem was caused by vandalism of Eskom’s electricity network.

In addition to affecting areas in Ekurhuleni such as Brakpan, Daveyton, Tsakane, and Vosloorus, the loss of power resulted in the cutoff of water into the Vlakfontein Reservoir that supplies the City of Tshwane.

As a result, several other “downstream” reservoirs supplying numerous suburbs across the Tshwane metro ran dry or severely low, resulting in no water supply to the following areas:

  • Eersterust
  • Constantia Park
  • Elardus Park
  • Garsfontein
  • Grootfontein
  • Mamelodi
  • Menlyn
  • Mooikloof
  • Moreleta Park
  • Newlands
  • The Hills
  • Waterklof Ridge
  • Wingate Park

Both municipalities sent water trucks to the affected areas to provide residents with water while the impact continued to be felt.

Technicians from the City of Ekurhuleni, Eskom, and Rand Water worked into the early morning of Sunday, 16 April 2023, to fix the power supply problem,

The pumping station began re-energising at 01:05 AM and was at full pumping capacity by 02:30 AM.

However, Rand Water cautioned there would not be immediate relief.

“The system will require a recovery period of up to one week to fully stabilise,” Rand Water stated.

In a statement from the City of Ekurhuleni, the time for the complete restoration of all areas was five days.

“This is due to the time required for the pumping station to reach its optimal capacity and for the reservoirs to be replenished,” the city stated.

Further delays could be experienced due to load-shedding, which shuts off or limits reservoir pumping capabilities, depending on the available backup.

In Tshwane, higher-lying reservoirs in Grootfontein and Mooikloof are expected to take the longest to reach an adequate level to start supplying residents.

The table below shows the City of Tshwane’s latest update on water levels as of 08:30 on Monday, 17 April 2023.

City of Tshwane reservoir levels — 08:30 on Monday, 17 April 2023
Reservoir Areas supplied Water levels
Carina Street Waterkloof Ridge, Garsfontein Reservoir 36%
Eersterust Eersterust 0%
Elardus Park Elardus Park, Moreleta Park, Wingate Park 0%
Garsfontein Holding reservoir in Pretoria East 29%
Grootfontein Grootfontein, The Hills, and surrounds 0%
Mamelodi R1 & R3 Mamelodi 0%
Mooikloof Mooikloof 0%
Monument Park Monument Park 70%
Parkmore HL High-lying areas of Garsfontein, Menlyn, Newlands, and surrounds 18%
Parkmore LL Low-lying areas of Garsfontein and surrounds 36%

In addition to the water supply problems, several other suburbs in Tshwane Region 4 have recently seen a flare-up in power failures.

In a select few cases, these issues were caused by vandalism and cable theft.

However, the causes of outages in several other locations, including Louwlardia, Lyttelton, and Kloofsig in Centurion, still had to be identified.

Technicians had switched off several components on substations in these areas until they could determine the root of the problems.

As of 13:00 on Monday, power had been restored to many of these areas in Centurion.

The incidents come in the wake of the City of Tshwane having to divert electricity supply to various suburbs from alternative substations, following the collapse of seven power pylons on Sunday, 9 April 2023.

The metro cancelled its initial plan to introduce load rotation to ensure all residents of the city could have electricity at least some of the time.


Now read: Eskom hits back at stage 8 load-shedding claims

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Pretoria and East Rand taps run dry after criminals vandalise power