Incidents of cable theft in KeaGuqu in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province have led power utility Eskom, South African Police Services (SAPS) and the Hawks to organising a Crime Unit Swoop.
Eskom says that in the past week they have experienced several theft and vandalism incidents on the 400KV Vulcan Transmission line in the region.
The fourteen suspects who were involved in the cable theft incident have been arrested in Vosmon by a team of the SAPS, the Hawks and Eskom investigators.
The crime incidents resulted in an extensive damage, loss of supply to thousands of customers and increased safety risks. Calib Cassim, the acting Chief Executive Officer of Eskom says that customers pay the price for such crimes through increased tariffs.
“We shall pursue the investigations together with the Hawks and shall intensify operations against the syndicates, ensuring that they are disrupted”, Cassim said.
The SAPS/Eskom team also managed to visit an unscrupulous scrap metal dealer in eMalahleni where large amounts of copper cables were found loaded in a truck that was ready to off load at the facility. The truck driver who was in police custody pointed them to a residential property where more copper cables were found at the premises.
As their machines are now under heavy pressure, Eskom has implemented load shedding stage 4 which starts at 6pm until Monday 14 March 2022. They have also switched to using Diesel since their four power plants are still under maintenance.
Eskom said that the amount of electricity that has been damaged is 15 400 MW and they have managed to fix 5 500 MW.
By Lineo Khabele for African View News