Nine arrested in connection of theft and vandalism

City Power encourages communities to report any suspicious activity to the 24-hour Risk Control line on 011 490 7900.

The City Power Security Risk Management team’s efforts to fight the rampant levels of theft and vandalism of electricity infrastructure in the city are bearing fruit with nine arrests made recently.

Isaac Mangena, City Power spokesperson, explained that these arrests come amid rising cases of theft and vandalism across all service delivery centres (SDC), with the most notable and concerning incidents reported at the Randburg SDC.

“There has been a disturbing trend around the vandalism of transformers, causing prolonged recurring outages in areas such as Ferndale, Bordeaux, Kya Sand, North Riding, Sharonlea, Fountainbleau, Blairgowrie and Windsor.”

During March 6–13, nine males were arrested for theft and tampering with essential infrastructure and the suspects were handed over to the police.

Sergeant Thela, general manager for security management, explained that they have intensified the battle and resources against the crime to ensure that those who have made it their business to steal cables and components, vandalise and tamper with substations and transformers, and sell them to scrapyards are brought to book.

“What is of concern to us, which we are appealing to the Department of Home Affairs to assist us with, is that most of the suspects we apprehended are foreign nationals.”

Four were arrested in Saxonwold digging out copper cables.

“These arrests are a testament to the effectiveness of our internal controls that have been put in place, coupled with collaboration with communities and law enforcement agencies. Our efforts and determination in the fight against cable theft and vandalism also demonstrate how much more we can achieve when we join forces with communities.”

Mangena explained that they have also deployed more security resources with a special focus on intelligence and the use of technology to detect wrongdoing and respond timely. Since then, there has been a notable increase in arrests, including internal collaborators.

“We warn all those who are involved in the destructive business of cable theft and vandalism of the network that the net is closing in and should they be found wanting, they will face the full might of the law. This warning also goes to City Power employees and those contracted to do work on behalf of the entity. We have arrested some of our own, including contractors, and we will not stop until we rid the business of such criminality.”

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