WITH reference to the letter from Gavin Flanagan (“Prepare for more power failures”, The Herald, June 23), the infrastructure in Port Elizabeth is not that old. I have worked with electrical breakers, transformers and cables which were 50 years old, and due to a good maintenance schedule we could prevent failures and “blow-ups”.
Circuit breakers and transformers need to be serviced regularly, and high voltage cables need to be pressure tested. If you fit the correct protections the “surges” can be handled by controlled shutdown of the sections of plant.
It is not necessary to have a catastrophic failure every time a cable surges on earth fault. Also control room staff in the electrical control centre should be trained to observe surges especially from the Eskom grid and to take timeous action by switching or linking.
Rather invest some money in good instrumentation, protections and training of staff than replacement of equipment.
Tom van Rooyen, Jeffreys Bay