City Power officials suspended for cable theft

The type of cable often targeted in this type of crime. Picture City Power

Six City Power employees including two team leaders have been suspended for stealing cables worth R4,5 million and criminal cases instituted against them.

The employees worked at the Randburg depot in Johannesburg, and were charged with fraud and theft, City Power said on Tuesday.

They were found to have taken cable drums which are 300 meters long after an audit and inventory of cable equipment was conducted.

City Power Managing Director, Sicelo Xulu, said investigations were under way to determine whether the employees have links with organized crime syndicates.

“As the investigations unfold, more arrests are expected… This year we have seen a significant spike in cable theft and corrupt practises, and in some of these incidents our contractors and employees were implicated. We are working with external parties to also tighten up our internal controls in order to enhance operational efficiencies.

“This entails tighten up our internal processes to close the loopholes and address existing weaknesses in the system,” said Xulu.

Cable thefts and vandalism of electricity equipment has plunged many neighbourhoods in darkness earlier this year and has cost the utility and businesses millions of Rands, he added.

The City of Johannesburg is also expected to divulged the names of a number of businesses or mass power users that are possibly involved in corruption in electricity supply.

Thirty large power users, including these businesses have been identified.

Mayor Parks Tau said earlier this month, that 22 arrests have been made relating to 109 cases or corruption resulting in a R200 million loss in the city revenue collection. The National Prosecuting Authority, SA Police and the Hawks have been roped in to investigate the matter.

“…More work still needs to be done to make cable theft a thing of the past,” said Xulu.

Since the City Power initiative, approximately 227 suspects have been arrested, and the conviction rate stands at an 86%.

“City Power cannot win this battle alone without the support of its employees, contractors and communities it serves. We urge and encourage our stakeholders to continue to work with us in order to deal a decisive blow to this scourge of cable theft and corruption.

The vandalism of electricity infrastructure and theft of electricity is not a crime against City Power alone, but it is an offence against all the law abiding citizens and ratepayers in Johannesburg.”

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