Eskom worker, scrap metal dealer arrested for cable theft worth over R280k

Eskom’s senior manager for maintenance and operations in Gauteng, Motlhabane Ramashi, said copper cable theft cost the power utility between R5 billion and R7 billion a year.

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JOHANNESBURG - An Eskom employee and a scrap metal dealership owner have been arrested for alleged cable theft.

The pair were arrested on Tuesday in the east of Johannesburg after stealing copper cables worth over R280,000 last month.

Eskom’s senior manager for maintenance and operations in Gauteng, Motlhabane Ramashi, said copper cable theft cost the power utility between R5 billion and R7 billion a year.

Ramashi said the employee would also face internal disciplinary action.

“Our employee was tracked to a scrap metal dealership in the east of Johannesburg where he delivered 108 meters and 160 meters (11 kV and 22 kV respectively) of copper estimated to the value of R280,000, using an Eskom truck on 21 January 2020. The matter was immediately reported to the police who subsequently made arrests”, Ramashi said in a statement.

“We are saddened that one of our own is implicated in the alleged theft, however, we remain committed to rooting out any wrongdoings that seek to undermine our efforts to deliver services and be efficient in our operations. The investigation was informed by our commitment to resource optimisation where we ensure that material is channelled to its intended use. We will continue to heighten efforts to curb material losses and any criminal act by anyone, including our employees”, Ramashi added.