Johannesburg Power Returns After Outage at Eskom Substation

(Bloomberg) -- Massive areas of Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city, were hit by power outages Friday afternoon after a substation run by state-owned utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. tripped.

  • Power has been restored in areas including the Sandton business district and technicians were working on the remaining areas, said Eskom spokesman Khulu Phasiwe. At least 20 substations, each servicing at least 10 suburbs, were affected, City Power said earlier.

Key Insights

  • Friday’s blackout is a stark reminder that generation capacity isn’t the only threat to power supply in Africa’s most-industrialized economy. The utility has fallen behind on maintenance due to a shortage of funds and much of the country relies on aging distributing and transmission infrastructure.
  • The outage comes as Eskom is struggling to generate enough power to meet demand and has implemented rolling blackouts on several occasions in recent months. The company said earlier it might need to implement cuts Friday, but has confirmed it hasn’t done so yet.
  • The central and northern suburbs of Johannesburg were particularly affected by Friday’s outage, which lasted more than an hour.

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