The Dark Side of Cape Town’s Load Shedding: Residents Fight Back Against Cable Theft

Cable theft in Cape Town is one of the most significant challenges we are faced with, resulting in numerous unplanned power cuts and leaving customers without electricity supply for prolonged periods. Eskom is urging the residents of Fisantekraal and Klipheuwel to come forward with any information that could lead to the arrest of cable thieves. This issue has escalated in the past two months, especially during load shedding, which is why it is crucial that every member of the community gets involved by being the eyes and the ears of the city ground.

According to a TygerBurger report, cable theft has left residents in the area without electricity for days. A week ago, 30 houses were without electricity for more than eight hours, and it took days before the infrastructure was repaired in previous incidents. Some had to wait weeks for repairs.

To put an end to these incidents, the City of Cape Town has announced that R40 million has been allocated in its 2023-’24 budget to help fight the vandalising of energy infrastructure. The money will support law enforcement deployment, enhance security at key points and increase monitoring. Rewards of up to R5 000 are also being offered to those who have information that could lead to the arrest of cable thieves.

“In order to ensure a reliable electricity supply to paying customers and keep communities safe, Eskom desperately requires the support of communities and urges the members of the public to report any suspicious activity relating to illegal connections, cable theft, and vandalism.”, says an Eskom spokesperson.

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It is therefore crucial that every resident becomes an effective watchdog and reports illegal activity that affects the community. You can report any damage to municipal electrical infrastructure by SMS to 31220 or power@capetown.gov.za, or call 0800 1100 77. Alternatively, you can call the Eskom crime line at 0800 11 27 22 or contact the local police to report the crime.

We need to come together to tackle this issue before it becomes even more prevalent, especially with the winter months coming and Eskom’s load shedding schedule continuing until further notice. It is time for us all to play our part in securing the energy infrastructure and making Cape Town a safer place to live.