Resulting power outages harm local economy, hamper service delivery.
In recent times, Emfuleni Local Municipality has been experiencing chronic electricity blackouts.
This comes after another cable was dug out and stolen recently, affecting CE4 and other surrounding areas.
In another recent incident, thieves plunged Sebokeng hostel into darkness after stealing yet another cable in the area.
The municipality is very much concerned about some of the factors that contribute to power supply interruptions – these include illegal connections and mushrooming scrap-yards which buy stolen cables and other copper components, effectively becoming complicit in acts of crime and economic sabotage.
ELM has lost more than R100 million in the 2017/18 financial year alone, as a result of cable theft and illegal connections.
Cable theft has a negative impact on the regional economy, consequently affecting job opportunities as many businesses are left without electricity which affects productivity and ultimately, profitability.
Without power, businesses are left stranded and cannot perform daily operations, which leads to massive financial losses.
The cost to repair and replace cable runs into millions every year, and these funds could be used to improve services delivered to communities.
The municipality is appealing to communities to report cable theft, illegal connections and scrap-yards dealing in these illegally obtained goods.
We plead with residents to work with the municipality to curb cable theft and prevent interruptions in power supply.
Cable theft remains one of the municipality’s greatest threats to service delivery.
By Stanley Gaba