The JBay power failure – what actually happened

The power failure that brought Jeffreys Bay to a standstill and caused holidaymakers to leave for greener pastures is probably the biggest disaster to ever hit the town.

Raw sewage flowing down towards the beach and to Supertubes.
Raw sewage flowing down towards the beach and to Supertubes.

The Kouga Municipality released this statement explaining what happened:
1. The electricity supply to Jeffreys Bay was interrupted at about 11am on Saturday, 27 December. On investigation it was found that a joint had come lose on a main line. It usually takes about three hours to repair faults of this nature.
2. The repairs were done within the given timeframe. However, the electricity could still not be restored.
3. On further investigation it was found that a 9m cross arm holding up main incoming lines had burnt out, bringing the lines crashing down. Three lines had to be checked for damage and pulled back up before the power could be restored.
4. The rainy weather and locality of the fault delayed repairs. The fault was off-road between the Hankey-Humansdorp Road and Mentorskraal. Repair vehicles, including a crane that was brought in from Uitenhage, got stuck in the mud. TLBs had to be brought in to tow them out.
5. Work continued throughout the night. The lines were pulled up in the morning and tightened. To prevent the system from overloading the electricity was switched on bit by bit from 14.30 pm.

6. Despite staggering the switch on and waiting for the load to recede, the power did overload in some areas and had to be switched on again.
7. The main problem was Aston Bay and Paradise Beach where fuses on the lines blew after switch on. This was repaired overnight.
8. At about 7.30 yesterday morning the power supply was interrupted again. A line had come loose at the Melkhout substation near Humansdorp and Hankey. This was repaired and the power restored to most of JBay. Small sections tripped again but were attended to.
9. Paradise Beach was the last suburb in Jeffreys Bay to receive electricity and it now appears that the lights will stay on.

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