The eThekwini Municipality on Wednesday welcomed a 15-year prison sentence handed to a cable thief.
“This was the first time such a conviction has been handed to an accused in Durban,” said eThekwini Municipality’s spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela .
“The accused was caught by the neighbourhood watch patrols on September 1, 2017 at 1am with 500 metres of bare copper cable on Marian Hill Road in Pinetown.”
“It carries an estimated value of R27,400. The area had experienced a power outage as a result of the man cutting the cable. Residents then contacted the patrols and he was caught and handed over to the police. Prior to conviction, he was detained at Westville Prison, awaiting trial.”
Mayisela said the city has adopted a zero-tolerance approach against any theft of their infrastructure, particularly copper electricity cables.
Barbara Cloete, a forensic investigator from the infrastructure theft department, said: “This is a major victory for the city, it shows that we are serious about our approach and we will not tolerate any theft of infrastructure. This particular criminal act had a direct, negative impact on our residents as they were left without power for many hours”.
“Cable theft is a major challenge as millions of rands are lost. Business owners also suffer a great loss in production and profit while household consumers suffer damages to electrical appliances and food spoils. The dark and poorly lit roads can lead to fatalities and a guise for criminals to operate.”
Cloete warned criminals that cable theft was life-threatening and she urged residents to report it by contacting 0800 311 961.
– African News Agency (ANA)