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17/02/2017: Senseless murder of City Power security officer: Residents urged to report cable theft and suspicious activities
17 February 2017
A security supervisor has been shot in Devland in the early hours of this morning by cable thieves.

I have spoken to City Power officials and I was informed that the security officer was performing routine inspections when he encountered suspects excavating cables.

The security officer managed to call for backup and upon the arrival of the response team contingent, a shootout ensued and the security officer was declared dead on the scene by paramedics. According to the security officers who were on the scene, the suspects fled into a nearby informal settlement along Union Road.

This act of senseless violence must be condemned in the strongest regard and I will, along with officials from City Power, be visiting the family of the security officer to express our condolences. The utility will also be working closely with law enforcement officials to investigate the circumstances which led to the fatality.

Approximately 45% of power outages in the areas where City Power operate are caused by cable theft, which hampers our service delivery efforts.

The fight against theft and vandalism is an ongoing battle that costs City Power millions of rand every year. The expansive footprint of the utility’s network makes it very difficult to safeguard all the installations and City Power relies on the co-operation of the communities they serve to report incidents of theft and vandalism of the electricity infrastructure so that that perpetrators can be brought to book.

City Power, as the main electricity provider to residents of Johannesburg, will continue to implement best practice learnt from other sectors of the economy and explore foolproof and more efficient solutions that will ensure that infrastructure is safeguarded.

In an effort to combat cable theft, the utility is in the process of replacing copper conductor cables with aluminum conductor cables. Criminals target copper cables by digging it up to sell to scrap metal dealers. The use of Aerial Bundle Conductors (ABC) has also been successful in reducing theft and vandalism. In instances where the usage of aluminum conductor cables is not feasible, City Power is encasing copper cables in concrete to prevent tampering and theft.

I commend City Power for conducting educational awareness campaigns in communities most affected by cable theft and for engaging with private security firms and the police to assist the public with understanding the impact of theft and vandalism and the protection of electrical infrastructure. City Power has its own response vehicles which patrol high-risk areas. However, because of the large areas, it is difficult to prevent every incident without assistance from affected communities.

I urge residents not to approach suspects because they could be armed and dangerous. Instead, community members are urged to monitor suspicious individuals and vehicles in the neighbourhood, i.e. vehicle registration, persons and clothing to assist authorities in follow up action. All suspicious activity must be reported to City Power’s call centre or control room, which operates 24 hours a day, on the following numbers: (011) 490 7911/7900/7553, or on the toll-free number 0800 0025 87.

Media enquiries:
Cllr Nico de Jager
MMC: Environment and Infrastructure Services Department
083 899 2127

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Last Updated on 17 February 2017