Vandalism behind Okahandja extended power outage

Niël Terblanché

NamPower has successfully restored electricity to Okahandja and its surrounding areas after a disruptive outage that began on the morning of Tuesday.

The power cut, which plunged the town and surrounding areas into darkness for almost two days, was traced back to vandalism at the Okahandja Substation which is a critical juncture in the area’s electricity supply network.

Collin Klein, NamPower’s Area Manager for the Central Region, revealed that the outage was the result of intentional damage to a transformer component, inflicted by vandals at the CENORED Okahandja Intake Station.

He said a cable on one of the feeders was cut, causing a transformer at the Okahandja Substation to trip and damaging its tap changer.

“This unfortunate act of vandalism not only caused immediate inconvenience to the residents but also presented significant risks to the perpetrators, including potential electrocution and serious injuries,” he said

In response to the crisis, NamPower’s technical team swiftly disconnected the damaged transformer and rerouted the power supply through a mobile substation, thereby restoring power to Okahandja and surrounding areas.

This quick action mitigated the impact of the outage, but it also highlighted the vulnerability of essential infrastructure to acts of vandalism.

Klein issued a stern reminder to the public about the gravity of damaging electricity infrastructure. Such acts not only jeopardize the operations and management of national systems but also the provision of essential services to the community.

“Vandalism of this nature is not only illegal and subject to legal penalties but also endangers lives,” he warned.

Klein also encouraged residents to play an active role in safeguarding their community’s infrastructure by reporting any incidents of vandalism to the nearest Police Station or directly to NamPower at 061 205 2345.

He said a collaborative effort between the public and utility providers will ensure the continuous and safe supply of electricity.

Klein, on behalf of NamPower, extended an apology to the residents of Okahandja and surrounding areas for the inconvenience caused by the outage.

He reassured the public that NamPower is dedicated to ensuring the reliability of the power supply and urged the community to join hands in preventing future incidents of vandalism while also saying that maintaining the integrity of the nation’s electricity network is a collective responsibility.

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