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Residents can’t claim for damages in cable theft cases from City

eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said copper cable theft costs the City close to R33 million a year.

THE eThekwini Municipality has reminded residents that they cannot claim damages from them over cable theft. The statement follows an incident of cable theft at a substation on Umhlanga Rocks Drive (in the vicinity of Margaret Maytom Avenue).

Thieves stole the neutral cable from the substation for the third time in two weeks. While the electricity supply has since been restored, residents fed by the substation also faced the loss of several appliances due to a power surge.b One resident who spoke to Northglen News said he would be sending the City a bill for the damage to his household appliances.

Some residents agreed while the theft was beyond the control of the City, two damaged access doors which provided easy access to the thieves, should have been secured and fixed.

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John Morton, who runs the Rinaldo Road Veterinary Hospital located right next door to the substation, said he has lost more than R20 000 worth of equipment.

“It blew out a microwave, TV and a scale inside the practice. When the theft happened we just saw the lights flickering like you see in a horror movie. I’m now told that cable theft means you cannot bill the municipality for damages. The door that the thieves gained access through was completely inadequate. The measures by the City to try and secure it is also non-existent,” he said.

While the City didn’t comment specifically on the damaged access doors, eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said copper theft costs the City close to R33 million a year.

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“One cannot claim damages from the municipality in theft cases as such crimes are beyond our control. Any exposure to live terminations is regarded as an emergency repair and will be treated as such as soon as it is reported/identified. Residents can report any criminal activities to the SAPS,” he said.

 

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