The Witzenberg Local Municipality is located in the Cape Winelands area about 15km north-east of Cape Town. Ceres is the largest town in the district which includes Tulbagh, Prince Albert Hamlet, Op-die-Berg and Wolseley- and has a population of some 30 000 residents.

The region is surrounded by the Oiqua Mountains to the west, the Winterhoek Mountains to the north and the Witzenberg Range to the east. Rural areas within the municipal boundary include the Warm Bokkeveld, Koue Bokkeveld, Agter-Witzenberg and the northern portion of Breede Valley.

With fruit farming being the main activity in the area it is not surprising that the town’s peak load occurs in the summer months when fruit processing plants are operating at full capacity.

Ceres is fed at 11kV from two Eskom 66/11kV bulk supply points supplying a January/April peak load of the order of 34MVA.

Due to a significant increase in low-cost housing opportunities in the Nduli area, as well as additional development in the Skoonvlei industrial area, the supply capacities needed to be upgrades. A request for financial assistance was forwarded to the Department of Rural & Land Reform, and this was approved late in 2014.

The main features of the proposal were 5MVA upgrade to Nduli to cater for some 2500 additional houses and a 10MVA upgrade to the industrial area to cater for current and future loads.

Work started on the R26m projects in September 2015 and was completed in February 2017. The contacts required that 80% of unskilled labour on the projects were to be local residents and 49 persons were recruited for the work. In the close-out report Theo Potgieter of the consultants, LYNERS Consulting Engineers, said that the work was completed within the budget and the contracted time…

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