GOVERNMENT is working to restore power supply normalcy to its Qhobosheaneng Complex following three weeks of blackouts that had severely affected operations, Chief Project Officer-Cabinet Administration Rathakane Pitso has said.
In an interview with the Lesotho Times this week, Mr Pitso said the Government Complex, which also houses Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s offices, had experienced inconsistent power supply due to electrical faults.
He said the erratic power supply had also affected the Planning buildings, although the Finance House, which houses the Lesotho Revenue Authority and the Ministry of Finance, had not been affected because their electrical system had already been upgraded.
“The power failure began almost three weeks ago when the Lesotho Electricity Corporation (LEC) came to change the switchgears on our main transformer which supplies power to the offices located at Qhobosheaneng Complex and the Planning buildings after they concluded that the equipment needed to be replaced,” Mr Pitso said, adding that switchgears control, protect and isolate electrical equipment.
“It was after the change was made that we experienced electrical faults at the offices. We learnt that they were caused by many faults which had previously gone unnoticed due to the old equipment we had been using.
“The new switch detects faults almost immediately after they occur due to its sensitivity, whereas with the old system faults went undetected even though they posed a danger to the lives of people who work here.”
He said the repairs, which were being done in conjunction with LEC and three other contractors, were slowly but surely bearing fruit.
“For the past three weeks, we have been fixing the electrical faults in the various offices and embarking on intensive office to office inspections,” Mr Pitso said.
“We had to work fast given that even the office of the prime minister was affected by the mayhem. At one point, the elevator leading to his office was not operational, but we are glad that since Saturday, most of the facilities are now working as usual.”
He said LEC had recommended that they fix the main circuit breaker which would reduce the risks of more faults occurring.
“The new main circuit breaker is going to cost us about M300 000, but I have been assured that it will be bought,” said Mr Pitso.