City Power, the power entity of the City of Johannesburg, expresses its optimism due to recent arrests and recoveries, including apprehensions of their employees implicated in the ongoing issues of cable theft and infrastructure vandalism.
The power entity has embraced the detention of three suspects, among them one of their own staff, on charges of cable theft and vandalism. The arrests transpired on August 2 and 3 in Alexandra and Booysens through a collaborative operation involving the City Power infrastructure task team, Alexandra and Bramley SAPS, Metro police, and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa). This joint effort focused on several scrap metal yards in Bramley to counteract the persistent menace of cable theft in the locality.
During this operation, two individuals aged between 30 and 50 were apprehended at one of the scrap metal yards, possessing approximately 100kg of copper cables belonging to City Power. Concurrently, two other suspects managed to evade capture.
A City Power security risk management team also detained an official from the Reuven service delivery centre (SDC) within the power entity. This individual was implicated in stealing various types of cables, including service cables. An operation guided by intelligence conducted by the team unveiled suspicions that internal staff members were engaged in cable theft across the enterprise’s salvage yards.
City Power’s spokesperson, Isaac Mangena, indicated that the team traced one suspect’s activities, captured on CCTV cameras on July 1, purportedly loading cables from the entity’s evidence locker at the Reuven complex. A case of cable theft was reported at the Booysens Police Station, resulting in the suspect’s arrest. Subsequently, this individual was remanded in custody following a court appearance.
Mangena disclosed that further arrests are anticipated, building upon the arrest of this initial suspect as investigative teams pursue various leads. Within the new financial year, which commenced on July 1, City Power has already recorded over 170 incidents of cable theft and vandalism, resulting in the apprehension of more than 20 suspects.
City Power CEO Tshifularo Mashava emphasized the importance of these arrests in deterring potential cable thieves. She acknowledged that the possibility of employee and contractor involvement in infrastructure theft and vandalism has not been disregarded. The recent apprehensions reaffirm the efficacy of the security measures implemented by City Power.
Mashava extended commendation to their security cluster partners and communities collaborating with City Power to combat cable theft and vandalism. She urged scrap metal yard owners to collaborate with City Power in the battle against the illicit sale of copper cables.
To report cable theft, vandalism, or suspicious infrastructure-related activities, individuals can contact City Power at 0800 116 166 or send a message via WhatsApp to 083 579 4497.
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Photo: Supplied by Alex News