According to a report by The Witness on Monday, on average two cable thieves are electrocuted each month in the country.
In the last two months in informal settlements North of Durban alone, seven children and one adult had been killed.
Telkom investigator Barbara Cloete said the deaths sometimes went unreported.
“We are getting reports that a number of children are being electrocuted when they step on live illegal connection lines, and then just being buried without the death being reported.”
Mchunu confirmed this.
“Many communities who are afraid of being reprimanded by authorities are concealing such cases of death. This includes syndicates that are involved in cable theft.”
Mchunu was concerned about the increasing number of unclaimed bodies in provincial morgues and unexplained deaths, which could be related to cable theft.
He resolved that a task team should be established to investigate the causes of death for unclaimed bodies.
Mchunu’s spokesman Ndabezinhle Sibiya said a campaign would be launched this week to tackle the economic and human costs of cable theft and that Mchunu would personally visit the areas effected.