There are two main objectives when rebuilding a MV Network:
Try to avoid building underneath, or near to the existing network, so as to minimise the amount of outage time. (Eskom has a stringent health and safety code, that does not allow construction crews’ health and wellbeing to be compromised, so whenever construction occurs near to a ‘live line’, then the either the construction stops, or the powerline is switched off). So, in order to avoid outage time, we like to rebuild the new network away from the existing ‘live’ network.
In rebuilding the network, we like to optimise the routes. Essentially we like try to shorten the network, as well as place the powerlines nearer to access roads, so as to improve accessibility for maintenance crews. When a network is initially built, it is built according to customer demand and cost (and not necessarily according accessibility). And so networks ‘grow’ from homestead to homestead –taking the most direct route (to avoid additional charge to the customer). However this initial growth does not always –retrospectively, suite Eskom (as maintenance crews battle to get access to the powerlines) as well as the customer (as maintenance crews ruin lands as they attend to breakdowns). So, the rebuild is beneficial to both customer and Eskom.