“A job well done” – Department of Energy

“This is the first time a job of this caliber was done in only 6 months. Thabazimbi Municipality was the only municipality in the country that has performed,” this was the message brought by the spokes person for the Department of Energy, Mr Bongwe at the official opening of the refurbished Thaba Village substation on Friday 24 May.

The Department of Energy sponsored all the switchgear as wel as upgrading and fencing of the building. This upgrade also enhanced a number of safety features, for which a total of R10 million were allocated by the Department.

The Mayor of Thabazimbi, Councilor John Fischer

The Mayor of Thabazimbi Municipality, Councilor John Fischer, who did the official opening of the upgraded Thaba Village Substation, mentioned that the most basic principle of the municipality is to serve the people within the borders of the municipality. “The first priority is to ensure that the job is well done. From now on the Electrical department has no excuse for any failures as the job was done right from the start.” Fischer mentioned that the municipality appreciates the support from the Department of Energy in this project to enhance the service the municipality supplies to the community. With that he also called on the main stakeholders, the local mines and politicians, to take hands and overcome stumble blocks as the town does not belong to the council. Fischer, attended the meeting in an overall as he attended a maintenance site earlier before the official opening of the substation, also mentioned that the pump station still needs to be sorted out.

In his speech, Bongwe mentioned that Thabazimbi Municipality can knock any time on the department’s door for further funding estimated on R10 million rand or more in order to keep up with the growth in demand for electricity in all the communities within the Thabazimbi Municipality.

From left addressing the people attending the ceremony, Mr Adriaan Stander, manager P.P.C. Dwaalboom, Mr George Ramagaga, Municipal manager, Ms Refilwe from Northam Platinum, Dr Bertie Joubert, Speaker Thabazimbi Municipal Council and Mr Bongwe from the Department of Energy.

The spokesperson for the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA), Ms Regina Ravele, also congratulated the Municipality on what they have managed to do. She referred to a previous visit of her to Thabazimbi Municipality and said at that stage nothing was done to enhance the providing of electricity to other communities within Thabazimbi Municipality.

The mission of MISA is to provide support and develop technical capacity towards sustainable accelerated municipal infrastructure and service delivery.

She encouraged Thabazimbi Municipality to keep up the good work at being beter than all the other municipalities in the country.

, technical Director Mr Victor Makona, explains some of the safety features on the upgraded switchgear at the Thaba Village Substation.

Mr Victor Makona, Technical Director – Thabazimbi Municipality, supplied background on the whole project.

He mentioned that this project, sponsored by the Department of Energy, was initiated during October 2018 with the main object to supply safe and reliable electricity to Thabazimbi. This entailed doing away with the manual switchgear and introducing new techniques making it possible to switch off the supply without entering the dangerous zone within the actual building.

The switchgear was also designed to explode away from the circuit boxes preventing injury to technicians working within the substation.

He also mentioned that this upgrade puts Thabazimbi’s electricity supply back on track.

The whole project was done in close partnership of PPC Dwaalboom with servicing and maintenance of the transformers as well as upgrading safety when working on these transformers.

One of the main features mentioned by Makona, was the fact that the upgrading of the substation enables switching off blocks of electricity for maintenance or repair without relying on Eskom to switch the lines on and off.

With the upgrade, Thabazimbi Municipality has taken control over from Eskom of the substation which is now the property of the Thabazimbi Municipality.