The public is encouraged to report cable theft. This illegal activity impacts negatively on businesses and residents. The City has spent over R40 million ro replace six tons of stolen cables in the last financial year.
CABLE theft and illegal electricity connections are some of the challenges that cripples electricity distribution in the City. Multiple electricity breakdowns are mainly due to the theft of cables and connecting to the grid illegally. The City has appealed on numerous occasions for the public to report cable theft in order to curb it.
However, the scourge is continuing and leaving a trail of damage in its wake, not only to infrastructure but also impacting residents and businesses who bear the brunt of this criminal behaviour. In the last financial year, the City spent over R40 million to replace six tons of stolen cables. The City lost revenue of R785 million owing to this dangerous and illegal practice.
This budget could have been utilised for service delivery projects and community developmental programmes. Cable theft does not only deprive residents and businesses of power, it also has a domino effect on the supply of water as water pumps are operated by electricity. This is why some areas are constantly experiencing water outages, resulting in the malfunctioning of water pumps. Sewerage pump stations also use electricity to pump raw sewerage to treatment works. In the event of cable theft at these stations, operations grind to a halt resulting in sewerage ending up in clean water resources.
The City will continue to leave no stone unturned to address cable theft. About 16 people have already been convicted of crimes relating to cable theft. Their sentences range from jail time to fines. About 55 cases are currently in court and the City hopes that justice will prevail. The City once again appeals to the public to work with law enforcement authorities to fight cable theft.