[27-03-2016] The Emfuleni Local Municipality loses millions in stolen and damaged infrastructure including electricity sub-stations, underground cabling and street lights and poles.
In a tragic turn of events, a suspected cable thief was electrocuted on Friday evening, the first day of the Easter long-weekend. He was found by passersby at a municipal electricity sub-station in Powerville, near Sharpeville. The unknown young man suffered severe burns all over his body and
after receiving urgent medical attention from paramedics was rushed to the Sebokeng hospital where he remains in a critical condition under police guard.
This incident comes just two weeks after Mayor Mofokeng issued a stern warning to cable thieves. In an effort to curtail the scourge of cable theft, the Mayor cautioned cable thieves who often plunge parts of the municipality into darkness by stealing cables worth hundreds of thousands of rands that they faced imminent arrest, injury or death.
“Our infrastructure, which includes underground cables and street lights and poles, is sabotaged daily. Recently, 21 street lights were vandalized in Bophelong, just outside Vanderbijlpark. It doesn’t matter who they are, I am coming for them and their days are numbered because they risk arrests, injuries or death. We’re on their trail to ensure we bring an end to corruption and maladministration - the twin evils currently facing public service around the country,” Mayor Mofokeng had said.
The Emfuleni Local Municipality will officially open criminal charges against the supposed cable thief with the South African Police Service and hopes his injuries will deter would-be cable thieves. “At the scene, our officials found a syringe normally used by drug addicts to inject the popular nyaope drug in their arms and feet and tools believed to have been used by the man in his failed attempt to cut the cables,” Mayor Mofokeng said. The mayor strongly cautioned cable thieves who continue to target the municipality’s infrastructure. “These cables carry thousands of volts of electricity and this latest incident showed why only trained electricians from the municipality and/or Eskom should handle power lines,” he said.
Paramedics attend to the man who was electrocuted after he apparently tried to steal electricity cables at a municipal power sub-station.
Crime in action on cable theft