The war against cable theft is on, says Tshwane executive mayor Solly Msimanga. Yesterday, he announced that the municipality would pay a reward of R10 000 to anyone who provides tip-offs that can lead to the successful conviction of perpetrators – those who steal the cables and the buyers.
The council has also set up a dedicated anti-cable theft unit. Cable theft currently costs the city a minimum of R5 million a month, he added.
The reason it continues is because there is a market for stolen cables.
“We cannot, therefore, target only those that steal cables. We have to know where the material ends up.
“Buyers have a responsibility to ensure the material they are buying is not stolen property by insisting on the relevant documentation to see where the cable comes from.
“Often we find that the buyers are in cahoots with the thieves as they buy from them at prices below the market price.
“That is why they too will be subject to the law,” Msimanga said.
Cable theft threatens the provision of reliable and sustainable services to the people, the mayor said. The anti-cable theft unit will provide proactive and reactive interventions at electrical substations, cable trenches and main feeders.
“The unit has also targeted operations at second-hand dealers to curb this crime.”
Ga-Rankuwa residents are currently experiencing a power outage due to the theft of control plant cables and batteries at the substation early yesterday morning.
The matter is receiving attention from the city and Eskom team. The mayor said anyone who can provide credible information on cable theft syndicates in the city can call the specially dedicated line 012-358-4763.
Customers affected by power failures can text the word “power” followed by their account number to 44676, call 012-358-9999 (choose the electricity option), or visit www.tshwane.gov.za and follow the Report Power Failure link, or visit any regional walk-in centre. – email@example.com