Keeping trees away from power lines

Keeping trees away from power lines

Onrus experienced perpetual uninterrupted power outages over the past long weekend of 16 December 2022.

This is apart from the ‘normal’ load shedding schedule stages 5 and 6.

After discussions with Eskom, part of the problem for not detecting the fault(s) sooner were caused by trees growing over, into and alongside overhead electrical cables.

This is especially dangerous, particularly during stormy weather conditions when branches can be knocked onto power lines.

Overstrand Municipality has been clearing tree branches on sidewalks away from overhead power lines where necessary and encourages property owners to do the same to reduce the risk of outages.

The tree owner is responsible for keeping the trees on their erf or property clear of overhead power lines.

Eskom confirmed they notified property owners to prune or trim trees interfering with electricity lines or encroaching on the power supply; but unfortunately most property owners did not heed the notification because it is costly to trim trees.

Neither Eskom, nor the Municipality, can prune trees on private property.

It is up to all residents in the suburb to support and encourage their neighbours to prune their trees or face days without electricity.

To request pruning of a tree on the sidewalk, an application form can be submitted to  for the attention of the relevant area manager. Each request will be fully investigated and treated according to its merit, but removal would only be considered as the very last option.

Overstrand Municipality’s Tree Policy can be viewed on the website, click on Documents, then Policies and then Urban Tree Policy.

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