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Cable Theft Threatens South Africa’s Infrastructure and Progress



Cable Theft

Recently, cable theft during power outages, known as load shedding, has become a matter of great concern in South Africa. Criminals have been exploiting these blackouts to target cell towers and steal generators, disrupting network services as reported by Opera News. This has had a detrimental impact on cellphone providers, including industry giants like MTN and Vodacom, who rely on uninterrupted power supply to operate their businesses effectively.

Vodacom, one of the leading mobile network operators in the country, recently revealed that they had experienced the theft of at least seven generators from various sites across Kwazulu-Natal in the past eight weeks alone. These generators play a crucial role in ensuring that cell towers remain operational during power outages, thereby allowing uninterrupted connectivity for users. The cost of a single mobile generator can reach up to R500,000, placing a substantial financial burden on the affected companies.

The theft of generators during load shedding impacts the profitability of cellphone providers and affects their ability to deliver reliable and consistent services to their customers. When cell towers are left without backup power, users experience network disruptions, dropped calls, and limited access to data services. This can have far-reaching consequences, including impeding business communication, hindering emergency response efforts, and causing inconvenience to individuals who rely on mobile connectivity for various aspects of their daily lives.

Also Read: Terrifying surge in cable theft: residents north of Pretoria beware!

The increase in theft incidents highlights the need for improved security measures to safeguard critical infrastructure during load shedding. For example, cellphone providers and relevant authorities should collaborate to enhance security protocols at cell tower sites, including installing robust fencing, surveillance systems, and alarm systems. Additionally, implementing tracking technologies or unique identifiers on generators can aid in their recovery and deter potential thieves.


Public awareness campaigns and community engagement can also play a vital role in combating theft during load shedding. By educating the public about the detrimental effects of such criminal activities and encouraging them to report any suspicious behaviour, a collective effort can be made to prevent theft and protect essential infrastructure.

Furthermore, cooperation between law enforcement agencies and cellphone providers is crucial to investigate and apprehend those responsible for these thefts. Therefore, it is essential to establish specialised units or task forces that address this specific issue, ensure swift and effective responses to incidents, and prosecute the culprits.

The theft of generators from cell towers during load shedding has become a significant problem in South Africa, impacting cellphone providers and causing network disruptions. The financial losses incurred and the inconvenience caused to users necessitate immediate action. Enhanced security measures, public awareness campaigns, and stakeholder collaboration are essential to effectively address this issue. By protecting critical infrastructure, the continuity of reliable mobile services can be ensured even during periods of power outages.

Also Read:

Pretoria North Residents Combat Cable Theft By Greasing Poles


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Photo: Facebook / @Eskom Hld SOC Ltd

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