Silverton cable theft a huge problem

The aluminium cables.Photo: file.

The Silverton and Weavind Park area is quickly becoming an area notorious for cable theft.

Ward councilor Ben Chapman said there is a specific area in Silverton where cable theft occurs on a more regular basis. He said it seems if there are about five blocks targeted. “The CPF has vowed to bring on extra patrols and the TMPD’s cable theft unit is also aware of the problem.”

He said Trish Armstrong from the cable theft unit is aware of the big problem in Silverton. “There is about 47 000 lamp poles in the east of Pretoria. To try and patrol each area is very difficult. We urge residents to be vigilant.”

The MMC for utility services, Darryl Moss said the cable theft unit has been relatively successful in curbing cable theft and arresting criminals, both the thieves as well as the scrap metal dealers who deal in the stolen material. “This unit is also responsible for activities and strategies to prevent cable theft.”

ALSO READ: Plans to combat cable theft in East.

Moss said he believes that much of the theft is carried out by people inside Tshwane, as it is clear that the criminals have extensive knowledge of the City’s electrical installations and its vulnerable points.

Jan Pretorius, spokesperson for Silverton CPF said they are the eyes and ears of the police and will have patrols in order to assist the police and the cable theft unit in curbing the major issue of cable theft.

According to Pretorius, many of the cable thieves live in the Silverton area. “They burn the cables. It can be identified by the black smoke and the pungent smell. This is such a health risk.”

He said in Silverton there are about 44 illegal scrap yards. He said not only is cable theft a problem in Silverton, but

the theft of manhole covers and the theft of water meters. “The manholes have now been covered by cement.”

ALSO READ: Cable theft a major issue in Meyerspark.

According to Pretorius many people had their trash cans stolen. “The thieves use it to put the cables in.”

He said it may seem as if cable theft has reduced slightly in some areas due to the replacement of copper cables with aluminum cables. “Aluminum does not melt as easy as copper,” said Pretorius.

According to him, it is however difficult to replace all copper cables due to the high costs. “In Weavind Park from October 2016 to March this year cables have been stolen at an average of four times a week. In Silverton it also happens three to four times a week.”

He said it is apparent that the cable thieves have knowledge about the cables.

He spoke about the Namola app that allows residents to alert the closest TMPD vehicle to were you are. He urged people to not confront cable thieves when spotted, but to rather use the Namola app. “Report the cable theft do not leave your home.”

Chapman said people should call 012-358-2124 or 012-358-1932 in case of cable theft and request the cable task team.

Do you have more information about the story? Please send us an email to editorial@rekord.co.za or phone us on 083 625 4114.

  AUTHOR
Mari Rheeder

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