City Power reveals low rate of cable theft convictions

The latest cable theft at the weekend has left several traffic lights on the blink in the Johannesburg CBD.

FILE: Picture: SAPS.

JOHANNESBURG - City Power has told Eyewitness News that only 7% of the 143 suspects arrested for stealing electricity cables have been convicted in the last year.

The latest cable theft at the weekend has left several traffic lights on the blink in the Johannesburg CBD since Sunday and forced businesses in the area to temporarily shut their doors due to power outages.

It’s been more than 48 hours after cable thieves made their way out of a tunnel where they set some cables alight.

Technicians will only be able to do repair work underground on Tuesday morning.

Toxic chemicals have been released underground which makes it unsafe for anyone.

City Power’s Sol Masolo says these criminals are highly sophisticated and know where to gain access.

"I think it’s something someone could do in an hour or a couple of hours time."

He says that the utility is in the process of replacing copper cables with aluminium, but it will take a few more years for the costly transition before the entire city has been rewired with cheaper metal.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)