NEWS

Cable theft suspects to appear at Orlando Magistrates’ Court

A tip-off was received from a whistle-blower about stolen copper cables which were stored at a certain property in Nomzamo Park, Orlando East.

A sting operation was then conducted by the South African Police Services (Saps) working together with the City’s Group Forensic and Investigation Service Department (GFIS).

After searching the property copper cables that were already dug out were recovered. An official from City Power who was called to the crime scene confirmed that the cables belonged to the City’s power utility. The cables are estimated to be worth R80 000.

“Cable theft and vandalism costs the City over R500-million in a financial year. This is worrying because that is money that could be used to stabilize the network and improve our services to the people of the City of Johannesburg,” says Lucky Sindane, CoJ- Group Forensic and Investigation Service Department (GFIS) spokesperson.

The extensive footprint of the utility’s network makes it very difficult to safeguard all the installations and the City relies on the co-operation of the communities we serve to report incidents of theft and vandalism of the electricity infrastructure so that perpetrators can be brought to book, he says.

“The criminals who steal the City’s copper cable sabotage our economy and our City, leaving businesses and homes in the dark, costing ratepayers a fortune and robbing resources from service delivery. It is estimated that 45% of the power outages in the City are caused by cable theft,” continues Sindane, who also said the City, has faith that the SAPS and other law enforcement agencies will ensure that the perpetrators faces the full might of the law.

In another effort to combat cable theft, City Power has also initiated a process of replacing copper conductor cables with aluminium conductor cables.

Criminals target copper cables by digging it up to sell to scrap metal dealers, but aluminium has little to no street value.

The City will intensify raids on the scrapyards and arrest the owners who receive these stolen material.

The City would like to encourage the community to be vigilant and always report any suspicious activity or construction vehicles working around City Power infrastructure to the police, neighbourhood security or to City Power Control Room on the following number 011 490 7900/11/ or toll-free number 0800 003251.

Communities can also report suspicious activities to the City’s anti-fraud and corruption hotline 0800 002 587 or email: whistle@joburg.org.za 

Image (Police inspect stolen cables that continues to affect both businesses and communities).

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