There has been a sharp increase in cable theft in their area, especially after power blackouts due to load shedding.
Due to cable theft, the City is plagued by frequent disruptions to the electricity supply of energy. Even during load shedding, residents suffered more as they were subjected to longer hours of power outages. The City’s street lights have been cut and the cables pulled out.
A community member reiterates, “It seems like it is being cut by people who are professionally well vested with the cutting of it but then I understand it can be theft of people who are trying to equalize the score to get perhaps what you can call cable theft.”
“This thing of blaming the municipality is wrong because we know these people who are stealing the cables. We know people stealing transformer oil but we are not complaining to the police, this thing is not good for us,” another Community member explains.
Meanwhile, the Rustenburg municipality says it loses about half a billion rand per annum due to cable theft. It has called on the community to report such criminal activities.
Rustenburg Local Municipality Spokesperson Thapelo Matebesi says, “Copper has become a nightmare not only a nightmare but a very big concern in terms of the costs that the municipality has to incur as a result of copper cable theft. For example, it is very rampant. It is very sporadic from street lights poles. The copper cables inside, right up to the mini substations.”
The theft of copper cable in and around Rustenburg is reaching worrying levels with criminals especially active during periods of load shedding.
The theft of copper cables is believed to involve a syndicate and law enforcement is yet to make significant headway.
VIDEO: Rustenburg residents in the North West are crying foul about the increase in copper cable theft: