South African power utility Eskom reported an incident of attempted theft at its Babelegi Substation, in Northern Gauteng this week. A man suspected for attempting to steal an underground power supply cable was arrested, the parastatal explained.
Power utility conducts investigation
The utility explained the event in a statement: “Members of Eskom’s investigation team had been posted at the substation to conduct observations due to cable thefts having previously occurred in the area. While there they noticed two suspicious men approaching the substation.
[quote]“After failing to gain entry to the substation, the suspects proceeded across the tar road to an open area and began to dig a trench.
“Later that night the Eskom team approached the two men who fled the scene when they realised that they had been caught red handed. The Eskom team, however, managed to apprehend one of the suspects.
“Upon conducting investigations at the crime scene, the Eskom team discovered that the suspects were attempting to steal the supply cable running from the substation to Ramotse Village.
“The arrested suspect along with exhibits found at the scene, including two hack saws, a hack saw blade, a screw driver, a carpet knife, a spade and a pick, was handed over to the Temba SAPS and a case of damage to essential infrastructure was opened.”
Crime, a real threat to state infrastructure
Eskom, along with other state-owned entities and municipalities, is plagued by infrastructure theft – including cable theft – with the value of material stolen remaining a serious concern, as it is indicative of organised, syndicate-driven criminal activity.
Tebogo Rakau, Divisional Executive for Security at Eskom commented: “It might seem like the only victims of cable theft are organisations like Eskom and municipalities who have to bear the cost of replacing stolen cable and damaged infrastructure.
“But the effects suffered by society can be even worse, including prolonged power outages which impact businesses, and ultimately lead to job losses.”
He added: “Unplanned power outages resulting from cable theft also affect healthcare services at clinics and endanger the lives of people who are on life support equipment at home.”
Rakau thanked all those who have assisted the power utility in the fight against infrastructure and electricity theft. Read more…
“We urge all South Africans to play a role in the fight against these under reported but serious crimes by sending their anonymous SMS tip-offs to Crime Line on 32211. It is about time that we all played a role in halting the perpetrators of infrastructure and electricity theft in their tracks and bring them to book,” Rakau concluded.
Featured image: Stock