How cable theft cripples Centurion

The battle against cable theft in Centurion continues and has ward councillors up in arms due to budgetary constraints.

The councillors warned that when the Tshwane metro disconnected and removed illegal connections from informal settlements, that was when suburbs were targeted for cable theft.

ALSO READ: Cable theft affects power supply in Pretoria

The Centurion CBD area has also fallen victim to cable vandals.

Peter Sutton councillor for ward 78 said more than 400m of cables were stolen in the CBD area in the last six months, causing financial setback for the metro with an estimated R500 000 in repairs.

Sutton said cables stolen from Hennopspark on Thursday morning set the metro back about R30 000 in repairs.

Ward 66 councillor Ina Strijdom said Valhalla residents were experiencing immense discomfort with the theft of Airdac cables.

Strijdom said the cables were stolen to make illegal connections.

“Each and every time, cables are removed from settlements due to illegal connections, I have a spike in cable theft in Valhalla,” said Strijdom.

She said in her ward alone, 12 incidents were reported recently and that Airdac cables were difficult to replace as they ran underground and were not economically viable.

Strijdom said with the integrated development project this year, she requested the last of the copper cables in Valhalla to be replaced with bundle cables.

ALSO READ: Cable theft leads to power outage in Centurion

“Tshwane is in the process of replacing copper with bundle cables as far as the budget allows. Areas that are not being replaced at the moment are being targeted. There’s no quick solution.”

Strjidom said the biggest headache was that there was no separate budget for the replacement of stolen cables.

“Repairs are being done from the maintenance budget which means there would be less money for infrastructure for Centurion.”

Strijdom asked that residents be more alert as cable thieves normally operated between 02:00 and 04:00 in the morning.

Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga on Thursday announced a R10 000 reward to anyone who can provide information leading to the successful conviction of cable thieves. This includes both the delinquents who steal the cables and the buyers.

The following number can be called: 012 358 4903.

He said the reason why cable theft practices flourish was that “there is a market for this stolen commodity”.

“We cannot, therefore, target only those that steal cables but we have to know where the material ends up. Buyers have a responsibility to ensure that 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. Buyers purchasing this stolen property will not be spared and they too will be subject to the law.”

Residents affected by power failures are urged to report this by texting the word “power” followed by their account number to 44676.

Alternatively, report a power failure through the customer care call centre 012 358 9999 (choose the electricity option), or visit www.tshwane.gov.za and follow the report power failure link, or visit any of the regional walk-in centres.

ALSO READ: Valhalla almost free of cable theft

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  AUTHOR
Jason Milford

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