Cable thieves will be dealt with – Mayor

The scrapyard owners being arrested by a JMPD offier. Photos: Twitter

Residents of Roodepoort and surrounding areas are not strangers to power outages caused by cable theft, but, according to Mayor Mashaba, the thieves’ days are numbered.

Cable theft accounts for more than 45 per cent of the power outages in the City of Johannesburg (CoJ), sabotaging the city’s economy, leaving businesses and homes in the dark, costing ratepayers a fortune and robbing resources from service delivery.

Mayor Herman Mashaba inspecting some of the recovered infrastructure.

City Power’s cable network is expansive, making it extremely difficult to safeguard all the installations. That is why the city is relying on the cooperation of the community members to report incidents of theft and vandalism to electricity infrastructure to ensure the perpetrators can be brought to book.

In a recent press release, the Executive Mayor of the CoJ, councillor Herman Mashaba said that a specialised Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) Unit will be introduced to combat these criminal syndicates. “This unit’s exclusive focus will be to target these criminals who deal in stolen copper cables. This will require a professional approach from a dedicated unit with the knowledge, skills and networks they will need to be effective,” the mayor said.

The Mayor of the CoJ, Herman Mashaba, with some of the recovered copper cables. Photos: Twitter

“Yesterday (6 September) we had our first success, when a tip-off from a community member led to the recovery of a quantity of stolen cables and the arrest of the perpetrators. These cables – stolen from underground tunnels running under the streets of the inner city – were found in the possession of two scrapyard owners in Langlaagte. When the JMPD and police officers investigated, they found three drums loaded with stolen copper cables, and the owners of the facility could not account for it. It is alleged that more stolen cables are at two other scrapyards in Robertville,” said Mayor Mashaba.

The Mayor also commended the JMPD officers who were involved in the arrest of the owners, as they refused a R10 000 bribe and went ahead with the arrests.

“I would also like to thank the public for answering the city’s call and stepping forward with information leading to the arrests,” he said.

City Power will also join in the effort to combat cable theft by initiating a process of replacing copper conductor cables with aluminium conductor cables, as aluminium is of little to no value to cable thieves.

Mayor Herman Mashaba with some of the recovered infrastructure.

He concluded by saying, “We plead for our residents’ continued support and patience in this regard. I assure you that the days of criminals operating with impunity are coming to an end.”

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at northsider@caxton.co.za  (remember to include your contact details) or phone us on 011 955 1130.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites 

Roodepoort Record

Randfontein Herald

Krugersdorp News 

Get It Joburg West Magazine

  AUTHOR
Adéle Bloem

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