Our local Municipal Yard here in Great Brak River houses the Mossel Bay East Maintenance section of the Mossel Bay Municipality’s Electrical Department. The areas they manage include those east of the N2 bridge at Hartenbos, namely; Little Brak River, Great Brak River, Glentana, Friemersheim, Brandwag and the farming communities to the north east of the greater Mossel Bay Municipal area. As the Electrical Department they ensure we as customers get modern, well maintained and metered electrical power in 400 volts (3 phase) and 230 volts (single phase), transformed down from Eskom’s supply, delivered at a whopping 66000 or 22000 volts. This is a 24/7, 365 day a year job, there is always an electrician and his assistant on after hour’s standby ready and willing to assist should there be an interruption in delivery.
Their service falls into 3 categories, planned maintenance, breakdowns or unplanned maintenance and capital projects aimed to upgrade and modernise existing electrical infrastructure. In contrast to other towns in the country our needs are well met, service in most instances is restored within hours of an interruption. The main causes of breakdowns in our coastal area includes rain, vegetation, corrosion of equipment (caused by salt), lightning, vandalism and two major causes, wind and nesting or perching birds. Vandalism in the form of cable theft, and tampering with low voltage electrical boxes has of late been kept to a minimum. On the rise is damage to underground transformers and cabling caused by unprofessional contractors working on private projects.
The future is underground, over the next 2 financial years R5 million and R7 million will be spent on the upgrade of the Kleinbrak substation transformers which bring in 66k and 22k electrical feed from Eskom. A further R 4.5 million will be spent on high voltage cabling, either taking cabling underground or upgrading overhead lines. R500 000 is going towards new or upgraded street lighting, as seen in our very own Long Street. Our local Great Brak River Eskom intake substation will also see an upgrade to the tune of R1.2 million. This is all great to hear.
So a big thank you to Cobus Opperman, the Area Senior Superintendent and his team of 3 Electricians, who together with their respective Artisan Assistants and Electrical Attendants keep us powered up, especially when it matters. This is often late at night or in the early morning hours, often in the pouring rain, high up in a cherry picker or ladder attending to the repair of high voltage cabling, a job not for sissies.
Next month’s issue we hope to introduce the team and hear some personal insights and anecdotes while on the job.