Jacob Lehoko, the assistant manager of the electricity department, has revealed that it has fallen victim to acts of vandalism in many areas of the Emfuleni Local Municipality – and that these incidents are on the increase. In an interview with Lentswe la Emfuleni, Lehoko said criminals are vandalizing transformers and purging the towns (Vanderbijlpark and Vereeniging) into darkness.
At least about 6 sub-stations have been vandalized in less than six months which the politicians have slammed. The municipality's electricity department reported nearly all of substation have suffered break-ins, vandalized and copper been stolen since their inspection a month ago.
Street lights and robots also have either been either damaged, knocked down or completely removed from the area. “The council would like to condemn these criminal acts in the strongest possible terms,” said the member of the mayoral committee for basic services, Nomvula Thulo. The lights are installed at a cost estimated at R300 000.
“We urge the community to report this kind of crime if it is spotted as it hinders the delivery of much needed basic services. The stealing of metals, robot poles, copper from the electric sub-stations and vandalism of masts have a devastating impact of crippling our network, leaving our residents and business without access to electricity,” said Jacob Lehoko, Assistant manager: electricity operations.
Lehoko also added that it appears as if there is a syndicate at work, one that is also damaging electric equipment, sub-stations and streetlights.
“It is only through the continued support of the community that we are able to combat incidents like these and ensure quality of services,” concludes Lehoko.
These incidents have occurred at the time we are heading towards the peak of the winter period. More of our communities are going to experience bitter cold winter nights as the results of these vandals and criminals.
By Stanley Gaba