Cable theft on the rise in Tshwane

Cable theft
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Residents of Centurion, south Pretoria are the latest victims of cable theft. This as cable thieves are now targeting affluent suburban areas in and around Tshwane.

Residents from several country estates and residential complexes as well as business owners are up in arms over incessant power outages caused by the cable theft.

This is how they expressed their frustrations.

“We’ve been gathering for the past couple of days because of the serious issues that we faced as a community. One of the biggest issue will be the one of cable theft. Lack of electricity and sometimes is cable theft. We sometimes don’t have electricity for two days. Or once a week.”

“Since the beginning of the year we don’t have electricity for two to three days because a cable has been stolen or there’s been a cable stealing situation. Or it’s a substation fault issue.”

Increasing cable theft in Eldorado Park

Residents of Soweto, Eldorado Park and surrounding areas in the south of Johannesburg also say they are fed up with increasing incidents of cable theft.

Last month Pimville resident Kgomotso Diale was shot and killed and five others wounded when a group of men fired at residents who marched to Chicken Farm in Kliptown to complain about cable theft.

Police Minister Bheki Cele went to Soweto where he briefed residents on the shooting incident.

Impact on residents 

Pimville community leader Bandile Kalipa says cable theft is negatively impacting residents. Kalipa says many pensioners are running out of money as they are forced to buy gas to heat their homes and cook.

He says some of the elderly use oxygen machines, and the continuous power interruptions are putting their lives in jeopardy.

He has appealed to the police minister to intervene and deploy officers to guard substations.

Eldorado Park residents say they are suffering the same fate and have accused local scrapyards of encouraging cable theft by buying it from criminals.

Eldorado Park residents suspect organised syndicate in recent spate of cable theft

City power warns of how dangerous cable thieves are 

City Power has been alarmed by how dangerous cable thieves have become. This follows the murder of two security personnel, who were patrolling cable theft hotspots in Johannesburg in April.

City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena explains, “The security officers had just completed a task of escorting a City Power truck transporting tons and tons of the burned copper cables from Inner-city underground tunnels fire to the utility’s Salvage Yard at the head office in Booysens. The officers stopped at Carr Street near the double-decker highway to inspect a kiosk often burgled and used to gain entry into the tunnels. Upon completing the inspection, the security officers returned to their vehicle to write a brief security status report. Without any notice, armed suspects appeared on both the driver and passenger sides and shot both of them. They then pulled the lifeless bodies out of the vehicle and took one firearm of the crew.” –

Experts say there’s a need for law enforcement agencies to collaborate, especially in countries where stolen cables are sourced from South Africa.

More details in the report below: 

Additional reporting Tshepo Phagane and Pearl Magubane