28 September 2021
KOMANI – The Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT) MEC Mlungisi Mvoko with the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) Chief Executive Officer Ayanda Wakaba and Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality (EMLM) Mayor Cllr Luleka Gubhula-Mqingwana launched the newly refurbished Queendustria Substation, in Komani on 28 September 2021.
Queendustria Substation is a 66/11Kv electrical 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 Eastern Cape Development Corporation as an implementing agency, undertook a three phased approach in the network strengthening and refurbishment of electrical infrastructure at the 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 supplying and commissioning of a new 15MVA electrical transformer, refurbishing of a 15MVA electrical transformer, installation and commissioning of new current transformers, voltage transformers and surge arresters, installation of 12x new switchgear panels, and erecting of new electrical security fence.
Delivering a key note address at the launch, the MEC, Mr Mvoko revealed that the provincial government established the Provincial Economic Stimulus Fund (PESF) 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 the Provincial Executive Council to allocate funds to stimulate the local economy by targeting key sectors that have a 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 that grow the economy, enable economic development as well as grow 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 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. The value of the refurbishements was R24 million.
Representing the business community of Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality, Chairperson of Twizza, Mr. Kent Clark, expressed words of gratitude for the upgrade of Queendustria Substation. “Previously, we suffered millions of rands worth of damage to sensitive equipment because of power failure in the area. The upgrades mean that not only will we have limited interruptions but we also have a controlled voltage which 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 in the municipality,” Mr. Clark said.
Also speaking at the launch, Executive Mayor of Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality Cllr Gubhula-Mqingwana acknowledged 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 had reached a stage of collapse due to ageing and inadequate prevented maintenance as a result of funding constraints,” she said.
With the issues now addressed in Komani Industrial Park, the municipality is now pinning their hopes on the refurbishment of the Ebden Substation that has commenced. The Project is funded by the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality with the support of the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent and Cogta.
ECDC CEO Ayanda Wakaba confirmed that the Ebden Sustation project involves refurbishment of the substation and is also being implemented by the ECDC. “The Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality availed budget of 14 million as an urgent intervention toward the project. The project will entail installation of a 20MVA electrical transformer including CT’s and VT’s. The site was handed over to the contractor on the 24th August 2021 and is scheduled to be completed in May 2022”.
Mr. Wakaba added that, “the revitalisation of state-owned industrial parks programme identified Queendustria as one of the ten prioritised parks to be revitalised through a focus on both the physical infrastructure and other support requirements such as electricity infrastructure upgrades. This industrial park is a key source of economic stimulation for the region and has proven to be one of the sustainable ways to keep the Eastern Cape GDP on the rise as it has been steadily growing from the 2.9% we saw in the first quarter of this year to 3.4% in the second quarter.”
Jointly Issued by the Eastern Cape Development Corporation, Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism and Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality