Mvoko launches a multimillion-rand Queendustria Substation in Komani

The Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT) MEC Mlungisi Mvoko with the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) CEO Ayanda Wakaba and Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality (EMLM) Mayor Cllr Luleka Gubhula launched the newly refurbished Queendustria Substation, in Komani on 28 September 2021.

Queendustria Substation is a 66kV/11Kv power distributor situated in the Komani Industrial Park, also known as Queendustria. The substation distributes electricity to the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality’s Komani Industrial Park and other particular end-users in the region’s network.

The ECDC as an implementing agency undertook a three-phased approach in the network strengthening and refurbishment of electrical infrastructure at Queendustria substation in Komani. The project was funded by the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism through the Provincial Economic Stimulus Fund.

The refurbishments consisted of a replacement of a 15MVA power transformer and a refurbishment of an existing 15MVA transformer, installation and commissioning of new current transformers, voltage transformers and surge arrestors, and installation of 12x new switch great panels.

Giving a keynote address at the launch, MEC Mvoko said the provincial government established the Provincial Economic Stimulus Fund in 2019/20 financial year to support infrastructure projects that can create the desired and much needed economic activity.

The fund, he said, is rooted in a decision by our Provincial Executive Council to allocate funds to stimulate the local economy by targeting key sectors that have the potential to turn around the economy in the short to medium term.

“The main objective of the PESF is to fund, implement and monitor catalytic economic development initiatives and projects aimed at unleashing opportunities to grow the economy, enable economic development as well as growing trade and investment. I cannot overemphasize the importance of maintaining and upgrading service infrastructure, and particularly electrical infrastructure to support economic activity, investment and growth.”

“This investment is envisaged to trigger a chain reaction of positive economic outcomes that are far greater than the initial input. It should also be noted that this park is earmarked for an ICT digital hub that will enhance future skills for youth as an important pillar to enhance industrialisation in the future.

“All these efforts are directed at achieving our ultimate goal of building a self-reliant and vibrant economy in our townships,” said MEC Mvoko.

The Queendustria Substation project’s value amounts to R24 million. The substation can now distribute electricity to multiple Komani End-users which include the Komani Industrial Park Business Community, Komani Hospital and parts of the Ezibeleni Residential Area, Veekos, Stevenson Road, Kooleen and Zell Weger.

Representing the business community of Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality, Mr Clark from Twizza expressed words of gratitude for the upgrade of Queendustria Substation.

“Previously, we suffered millions of rands worth of damage to sensitive equipment that drives our machines because of power failure in the area. The results of the upgrades now mean that not only we will have limited interruptions but we also have a controlled voltage that allows our equipment to operate optimally. We also want to appeal to Mr. Mvoko, the Premier and others to see if they can find more money so we can do the same to Ebden Substation as we did to Queendustria. This would really go a long way to stabilise one of the most important infrastructure supplies of the municipality,” Mr Clark said.

Also speaking at the launch, Executive Mayor of Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality Cllr Gubhula-Mqingwana admitted that the municipality, including the Komani Industrial Park, had been experiencing challenges with their electrical infrastructure network.

“Komani Industrial Park had components that reached the end of their lifespan with some requiring immediate maintenance, particularly substations and transformer components. In some areas, the electrical infrastructure has reached a stage of collapse due to ageing and inadequate maintenance due to funding constraints,” she said.

With the issue now addressed in Komani Industrial Park, the municipality is now pinning their hopes on the refurbishment of the Ebden Substation that is to commence soon. The Project is funded by the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality with the support of the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent and Cogta.

The R14 million project involves the refurbishment of the substation and is also being implemented by ECDC. The Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality availed the budget as an urgent intervention toward the project. The project will entail the installation of a 20MVa transformer including CT’s and VT’s. The site was handed over to the contractor on 24 August 2021 and is scheduled to be completed in May 2022.

Jointly Issued by the Eastern Cape Development Corporation, Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism and Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality