City Power has expressed satisfaction with the apprehension of three individuals, one of whom is an employee of the entity, for their involvement in cable theft and vandalism.
The trio was taken into custody on separate occasions, with arrests taking place in Alexandra and Booysens. Earlier this month, City Power’s Infrastructure Task Team, in collaboration with Alexandra and Bramley SAPS, JMPD, and PRASA, conducted a coordinated operation targeting multiple scrap metal yards in Bramley.
The objective was to combat the persistent issue of cable theft plaguing the area.During the operation, two suspects, aged between 30 and 50, were detained at one of the scrap metal yards. They were found in possession of approximately 100kg of copper cables belonging to City Power, the municipal electricity distribution entity. However, two other suspects managed to evade capture, says entity spokesperson, Isaack Mangena.
Continuing the crackdown, City Power’s Security Risk Management Team made an arrest on Thursday, 3 August. This time, an official working at the Reuven Service Delivery Centre (SDC) was apprehended for pilfering various cable types, including service cables.
Through an intelligence-driven initiative, the Security Risk Management Team uncovered evidence implicating internal staff members in cable theft across various business-related salvage yards. The diligent pursuit of leads led the team to a suspect, who was caught on CCTV cameras on July 1st, removing cables from City Power’s evidence locker at the Reuven Complex.
The subsequent police involvement led to an arrest and court appearance.City Power anticipates further arrests of implicated personnel as the investigation continues to unfold, notes Mangena.Since the commencement of the new fiscal year on 1 July, up until 3 August, over 170 instances of cable theft and vandalism have been recorded by City Power.
Consequently, more than 20 suspects have been detained. Tshifularo Mashava, City Power Chief Executive voiced appreciation for the arrests’ potential to deter prospective cable thieves.
“We are encouraged by the recent arrests of some of our own which attests to the efficiency of the security measures we have put in place,” Mashava said.
She also acknowledged the internal awareness of possible employee and contractor involvement in infrastructure-related crimes.”We commend the collaborative efforts of our security partners and the community, which has united with us to combat the menace of cable theft and vandalism,” Mashava said.
She has called on scrap metal yard owners to collaborate with the entity in the fight against the illicit trade of copper cables.“The dire consequences of cable theft and vandalism, including prolonged service disruptions, customer inconvenience, and jeopardy to residents’ lives, underscore the urgency of curbing such activities,” Mashava added.
City Power urges residents to contribute to the cause by promptly reporting instances of cable theft, vandalism, or any suspicious activities near utility infrastructure. Reports can be made to 0800 116 166 or through WhatsApp at 083 579 4497.