Lightning strike sets substation at Rooiwal Power Station alight

Lightning strike sets substation at Rooiwal Power Station alight
Lightning strike sets substation at Rooiwal Power Station alight

Africa-Press – South-Africa. A fire broke out at a substation at the Rooiwal Power Station in Pretoria in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Tshwane MMC for Utilities Themba Fosi said he would go to the site on Wednesday to “check the extent” of the damage.

“The City experienced unprecedented storms in the northern part of the City,” he said.

“As a result of lightning, the temporary pyramid substation which was built next to Rooiwal Power Station has caught fire, burning the transformer, including the container and then the fire spread into the [high tension] yard. The fire has been contained,” Fosi added.

“Temporary investigation indicates that the cause of the fire was emanating from lightning. Technicians are currently investigating and assessing the full scale of damage, and updates will be provided soon,” Fosi added.

The fire comes only hours after News24 reported that the City spends more than R300 million yearly on salaries for staff and maintenance at the Tshwane’s Rooiwal and Pretoria West power stations even though they have not been operational for more than a decade.

The power stations are at the heart of the Tshwane Mayor Cilliers Brink’s plan to procure and generate at least 1 000 megawatts of power independent of Eskom.

On Monday evening, a group of around 20 people, some armed, stormed the Heatherley substation in Mamelodi East and held the security guard hostage.

They stole at least nine medium-voltage cables.

The damage to the substation resulted in a fire.

This is a developing story.

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