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Compiled by Shanice Naidoo

Cable thieves targeting Cape Town highway lights

The City of Cape Town is offering a reward to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest

The City of Cape Town’s Electricity Generation and Distribution Department has confirmed the repair of highway lights in the city, after a scourge of vandalism and theft.

The department repaired a number of high masts and replaced 2 800 meters of cable on Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk Boulevards last year after severe vandalism and theft. Unfortunately, the infrastructure was again vandalised recently.

Vandalism and theft

“Earlier this week, we attended to yet another cable fault due to attempts of theft and vandalism.  Fortunately, the damage was minimal and the repairs could be carried out quickly.

“We are no longer tolerating constant and repeat cases of vandalism, especially on important transport routes and we have a number of prevention interventions underway across the metro. We are investigating and we will implement additional means of protecting infrastructure in identified hotspots,” said Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, councillor Beverley van Reenen.

Van Reenen said dedicated Energy Safety teams and private security were patrolling to prevent more incidents from occuring.

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“Our teams are doing the best they can, however the lead crime-fighting authority is the South African Police Service and a joint-effort is required, from all authorities and stakeholders. 

‘The City is responsible for more than 245 000 streetlights, as well as high mast lighting on major freeways as well as in informal settlements. The Electricity Generation and Distribution Department continues to work on improving its streetlight burn rate in the metro; however, the rate at which streetlight infrastructure is vandalised has increased dramatically over recent months,’ said Van Reenen.

Reward for tip-offs

Van Reenen said residents could send anonymous tip offs if they are aware of illegal activity taking place, by calling 112 from a cell phone (toll free) and 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700.

“The City is offering a reward to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest, confiscation of stolen or illegal goods or the handing in of illegal or stolen goods. This reward is also applicable to information leading to the arrest of people vandalising, damaging or stealing electricity infrastructure or installing illegal connections.”

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