Four-legged culprit causes Welverdiend electricity blues

Some of the damage done to the transformer.

Residents of Welverdiend and Khutsong currently have to make do without electricity, a problem that has been continuing for days.

On Monday night the electricity supply to Welverdiend suddenly went off. Residents of this town woke up to find that there was no electricity at their houses. The problem has not yet been solved.

According to the Merafong City Local Municipality, the problems that led to the interruption happened at the town’s main substation. Apparently the transformer bushings got burnt and broke due to a type of wild cat, a spotted genet (known in Afrikaans as a muskeljaatkat) climbing on top of the transformer.

‘The wild cat shorted out all phases on the neutral earth compensator which has to be repaired with spares which have to be collected in Johannesburg,’ a municipal spokesperson answered to questions about the matter on Tuesday afternoon.

In the meantime residents of Khutsong also had to make do without electricity for days.

‘The main substation was vandalized and copper theft took place over the weekend. The municipality needs to replace three circuit breakers at the main substation. Quotations have been requested from suppliers for the repairs,’ the municipal spokesperson indicated.

The problem caused residents of Khutsong Extension 5 to protest, blocking the road between Oberholzer and Welverdiend with rocks. More protesting are also expected tomorrow.

The genet that caused the problems in Welverdiend.

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