DURBAN, South Africa - The eThekwini municipality is thrown into celebration of a breakthrough in Durban, South Africa, after a cable thief was recently convicted and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.
In a statement on Wednesday, the city noted that the anonymous accused, had been arrested in 2017 with 500 metres of bare copper cable on Marianhill Road in Pinetown, west of Durban.
“The accused was caught by the neighbourhood watch patrols on September 1, 2017 at 1.30am. It carries an estimated value of R27,400.
“The area had experienced a power outage as a result of the man cutting the cable. Residents then contacted the patrols and he was caught and handed over to the police. Prior to conviction, he was detained at Westville Prison, awaiting trial,” the statement read.
forensic Barbara Cloete, an investigator from the infrastructure theft department said: “This is a major victory for the city. It shows that we are serious about our approach and we will not tolerate any theft of infrastructure. This particular criminal act has a direct, negative impact on our residents as they are left without power for many hours.”
Cloete said cable theft is a major challenge as millions of rands are lost as a result of the crime.
“Business owners also suffer a great loss in production and profit while household consumers suffer damages to electrical appliances and food spoils. The dark and poorly lit roads can lead to fatalities and a guise for criminals to operate," she added.
The accused was prosecuted under the Criminal Matters Amendment Act 18 of 2015, which came into effect in June 2016.
It was designed to recognise the importance of essential infrastructure in providing basic services to the public. It also focuses on the high incidence of crime relating to essential infrastructure and its impact on public safety, electricity supply, communications and transportation.
Residents are charged to report cable theft by contacting 080-0311-961.