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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

City Power warns of imposters amid widespread cable theft

City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena said the cable theft resulted in the loss of power at four substations.

City Power has called on Soweto residents to be patient as it works to replace the cables that were stolen at its Nancefield substation.

The utility said three suspects have also been arrested following stolen cables at the Eldorado, Nirvana and Soweto substations in the south of Johannesburg.

Loss of power

City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena said the cable theft resulted in the loss of power at the four substations.

“It appears the suspects were on their way to sell the cables to a scrapyard in the area. They were found still in possession of the cables.”

Cable theft

Mangena said the cable theft is massive problem in the battle to keep the lights on.

Eldorado Park and Lenasia experienced a power outage because of cable theft at “Nancefield Substation where five cables were cut. The same problem led to a power outage in areas around the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and Power Park after cable theft at Soweto substation.”

“Technicians managed to restore the Eldorado and Nirvana substations which also had outages due to cable theft. It will take a considerable amount of time to restore the Nancefield Substation and we are calling on the community to be patient,” Mangena said.

ALSO READ: ‘Intensify fight against zama zamas to protect electricity infrastructure’ – City Power

Criminal syndicate

Mangena also warned residents about a criminal syndicate stealing cables.

“Under the guise of City Power employees, they tell residents that they are changing cables while in fact they are stealing service cables. This has become a widespread trend affecting mainly Lenasia and Alexandra. The service cables are then used for illegal electricity connections in squatter camps.”

“City Power will not embark on any work in households without first informing councillors and community leaders,” Mangena said.

Contractors arrested

On Friday, two City Power contractors tasked with repairing incidents of cable theft were arrested for allegedly stealing electricity cables.

The arrests came after residents in Naturena and surrounding areas were without electricity for prolonged periods last week.

Mangena said they caught the thieves on Friday night.

“They were in possession of a 10-metre long cable. The suspects are booked at Mondeor police station and face charges related to tampering and theft of essential Infrastructure.”

Load shedding

Meanwhile, South Africans will continue to suffer from exacerbated and deliberate power cuts after stage 6 load shedding made an indefinite comeback.

This comes after failing state-owned-entity Eskom said the high stages of the power cuts was the result of the breakdowns of eight generation units on Sunday.

ALSO READ:WATCH: City Power goes on disconnection spree in Alexandra, cutting several businesses’ power

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cable theft City Power Eskom Rolling blackouts