Cable theft costing govt R5bn a year

Salga also believes some of the service providers it's employed have been involved in copper theft.

FILE: Salga says R5 billion is wasted a year as a result of cable theft. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The South African Local Government Association (Salga) says R5 billion a year is wasted as a result of cable theft.

Salga officials are briefing Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation.

The association says cable theft and vandalism are costing government billions of rand that would be better utilised for improving services.

The association's William Moraka says this causes interruptions in the water supply as happened in Gauteng earlier this year when residents experienced widespread water shortages.

Large parts of Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg, the West Rand and Pretoria were left dry in September when cables were stolen from the Eikenhof Pumping Station.

Salga also believes some of the service providers it has employed have been the culprits involved in copper theft and vandalism.

Moraka asked community members to report and name and shame those involved.

The Western Cape is reported to have the least cases of water interruptions at 22 percent while Mpumalanga has the highest number of incidents at 77 percent.