On Wednesday, the Potchefstroom Regional Court, North-West Province of South Africa, sentenced two suspects to seven years imprisonment after they were found guilty for stealing a 1km overhead conductor in Delareyville, North West.

Sentence for overhead conductor

Of the sentence, four years were suspended for five years, according to state-owned power utility Eskom, who carried out the investigation.

The accused, Sam-Ansalmo Rodrigues and Lewis Chemo, were accompanied by a third accused, Max Dumisani Ubisi, who was fined ZAR20,000 ($1,300) or six years imprisonment, of which ZA12,000 ($836) or three years imprisonment is suspended for five years.

“The three suspects were previously arrested in different areas all over the country for similar acts of crime and have been linked with all the overhead thefts in the Stilfontein and Delareyville areas,” Eskom stated.

Illegal activity is high on Eskom list of priorities

Earlier this month, the power utility arranged a Public Safety tour to see the influx of illegal electricity connections in Marikana informal settlement, Philippi, Western Cape Province.

[quote]The aim of the tour was to highlight electricity dangers associated with illegal connections, cable theft, by-passing and vandalism.

This is one of a few marginalised areas that South African parastatal Eskom is continuously bolstering efforts towards education on electrical health and safety, especially in high density areas where such illegal connections can be fatal.

Other areas rife with illegal connections are Waggebietjie, Marcus Garvey, Witsand and Crossroads.

Despite continuous efforts in driving educational campaigns on electrical health and safety across the Western Cape Province, these illegal connections are still coming up in large numbers.