South Africa

Tshwane hatches cable theft plan for ward 91

Tshwane officials have been facilitating meetings with stakeholders to find tailored solutions for cable theft in ward 91, east of Pretoria.

According to local councillor Henning Viljoen, cable theft in Delmas is a horror.

The councillor held a meeting on December 5, with the regional operations coordination team led by MMC for Utilities, Themba Fosi, and his community safety counterpart Grandi Theunissen.

It was the second meeting aimed at securing an action plan to curb the regular theft of cables along Delmas Road, between the Rietvlei Nature Reserve and the roadway.

Theunissen said the metro was examining long- and short-term solutions to end the spate of criminal attacks in Delmas.

He said although the solutions at hand were not permanent as yet, several were hatched to tighten up security and lower cable theft in the Pretoria east region.

“The short-term plan is to move the power cables from underground to overhead, however, this has repercussions as we need to first engage the provincial government to erect such structures.”

He said that was not a long-term solution and the rerouting would prove costly.

“We are looking at implementing technological equipment to safeguard the electricity infrastructure and be proactive, while we will also partner with private security to assist in lessening cable theft.”

Theunissen said Viljoen was also chairing a task team, which would continue to devise plans to protect the area from cable thieves.

Viljoen said the area would continue its patrol strategy as adopted during the municipal workers’ strike.

He said the task team comprised security technology professionals, CPFs in Lyttelton, Boschkop and Welbekend, nature conservation, TMPD, the SA security agency and private security to design a workable plan to solve the issue permanently.

“In the interim, the Tshwane electricity department has come up with a practical intervention. It uses out-of-commission mini sub concrete bases to barricade theft hotspots as a deterrent.”

Viljoen said over the last three months, there were 14 incidents of theft.

“Last week, 110 metres of cable were stolen.”

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MMC Themba Fosi (right) and his team met with locals to find a solution to cable theft.

He said the cost of replacing the cable would be over R1 million.

Viljoen also said the abnormalities at the Mooikloof substation that had been underperforming some months ago had been attended to.

He said with the help of Mooikloof Ridge community, Woodville Security Forum and the SA security agency, cable theft at identified hotspots has been curtailed.

“It should be added that the Mooikloof Sub is in the process of being refurbished and commissioning of the new facility is expected by September 2024.”

The substation had also been burdened by the theft of cable,s which resulted in Mooikloof ratepayers threatening Tshwane with legal action due to marathon power outages in the area.

Ratepayers complained of ongoing power trips in August.

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