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Pretoria North under siege – Cable thieves strike hard



cable theft in Pretoria North

Despite efforts such as greasing street poles to deter cable thieves, there has been a surge of cable theft in Pretoria North, causing significant disruptions. In the past 30 days alone, over 10 cases of cable theft have been reported, with the latest incident occurring on Wednesday night in Wonderboom and Deetlefs streets, where a substantial amount of cables was stolen. Despite patrols and ongoing police investigations, they have made no arrests thus far, leaving the community frustrated and concerned.

Nikki de Jager, Deputy Chairperson of the Pretoria North Sector 2 Community Policing Forum (CPF), expressed the community’s frustration, highlighting limited resources’ challenges in combating this problem. De Jager emphasised the need for collective action: “This problem can only be solved if everyone takes a stand. We can’t let prolonged outages become something normal. We need permanent solutions.”

Cable thieves have been capitalising on load-shedding as a cover to carry out their criminal activities, exploiting the darkness and disabled streetlights. Ward councillor Dehan Harmse acknowledged the issue’s magnitude and pledged to meet with the Tshwane Metropolitan Police Department’s (TMPD) cable theft unit to address the matter. Harmse noted that inactive streetlights allow criminals to cut the cables without detection.

Also read: Cable Theft Threatens South Africa’s Infrastructure and Progress

Another concern residents raise is the presence of cut cables in the streets, posing a danger once power is back on as they remain live and can cause injuries or even fatalities. Meanwhile, residents have to endure unplanned power outages, exacerbating the inconvenience caused by cable theft.


Replacing stolen cables and other electrical components comes at a significant cost, placing strain on the already limited budget of the Tshwane metro. Lindela Mashigo, the spokesperson for the metro, highlighted the financial burden and its impact on service delivery. He stated, “Cable theft is draining the city’s already drained pockets. It hampers service delivery to customers as it results in power supply interruptions. While the City strives to repair the problem within a strict timeframe, it means resources aimed at other service delivery aspects have to be compromised.”

Recognising the severity of the issue, Mashigo emphasised that cable theft is a top priority for the Tshwane Metropolitan Police Department (TMPD) and the South African Police Service (SAPS). Strategic plans are underway to combat cable theft effectively. Mashigo urged residents to report suspicious activities around the city’s electricity infrastructure to the TMPD at 012 358 7095/6 or the SAPS, encouraging community involvement in tackling this pervasive problem.

Source: Cable thieves hit Pretoria North – hard

Also read:

Fibre cable thieves caught red-handed in south of Johannesburg – confirms JMPD


Picture: Facebook / Bongani Ð Ndimande

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