Eskom, police partnership nabs eight suspected cable thieves, vandals

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A partnership between police, community members and Eskom has resulted in the arrest of eight suspected electricity thieves and vandals. 

The arrests took place in Gauteng between October and November, after the power utility made a concerted effort to address “the increasing incidents of illegal electricity-related activities in the province”, they said in a statement on Monday. 

Two other suspects died after being electrocuted while tampering with electricity equipment in two separate incidents. 

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Eskom said the material theft and vandalism of electric equipment “undermines” their ability to “deliver on its service delivery mandate”. 

Cabe theft leads to prolonged power outages, and compromises the quality of electricity supply, in turn affecting businesses, essential services and the daily lives of citizens. 

Eskom also loses a considerable amount of revenue, further exacerbating its unsustainable, and potentially dangerous, nature. 

Stealing electricity for personal or third-party use, conducting illegal connections and/or using electricity from an unregistered meter can land perpetrators in jail. 

The utility also spends about R2 billion every year replacing stolen copper cables, and copper theft costs the economy between R5 billion and R7 billion annually. 

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Although security is being heightened in hot spot areas across Gauteng where electricity theft and vandalism runs rampant, Eskom safety, health, environment, quality and security manager Kith Maitisa said alternative measures are also being implemented to prevent further equipment damage. 

“With the collaboration with the law enforcement agencies, we will ensure that these criminals are arrested and brought to book,” Maitisa added. 

Anyone wishing to report electricity-related criminal activity is urged to call the Eskom Crime Line on 80600-112-722. 

Source: citizen