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R5m worth of stolen Eskom cables recovered in Muldersdrift

Jul 13 2018 16:39

R5m worth of stolen Eskom infrastructure, including aluminium and copper cables, have been recovered in Muldersdrift, Johannesburg.

One suspect has been arrested for dealing and being in possession of stolen property.

The arrest took place after the power utility’s investigation team, in collaboration with the SA Police Service (SAPS), embarked on a special operation that led them to Muldersdrift where the stolen Eskom aluminium and copper cables were recovered.

While copper theft costs the economy between R5bn and R7bn a year, Eskom spends in the region of R2bn a year replacing stolen copper cables.

Eskom’s divisional executive for security general Tebogo Rakau said the monetary value of the material recovered in Muldersdrift is a cause for concern as it is indicative of organised, syndicate-driven criminal activity.

However, Rakau warned that the serious scourge of infrastructure theft affecting not only Eskom but other state-owned entities such as Transnet and PRASA (Passenger Rail Agency of SA), as well as municipalities, must end.

To achieve this, Eskom and SAPS have intensified the fight against this crime at a national level and more interventions are being planned and will be rolled out in the near future.

“It might seem like the only victims of cable theft are organisations like Eskom and municipalities who have to bear the cost of replacing stolen cable and damaged infrastructure," said Rakau.

"But the effects suffered by society can be even worse, including prolonged power outages which impact businesses, and ultimately lead to job losses. Unplanned power outages resulting from cable theft also affect healthcare services at clinics and endanger the lives of people who are on life support equipment at home.”

Rakau urged all those who know of infrastructure theft perpetrators to help bring them to book by coming forward and reporting them anonymously to Crime Line on 32211.

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eskom  |  sa economy  |  cable theft
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