Eight-year jail sentences for theft and vandalism at an electricity substation will send a strong warning to other cable thieves, City Power in Johannesburg said on Saturday.
Two men received the sentences at the Booysens magistrate's court this week after they were arrested last November. They targeted a substation in Glenvista, leaving 180 customers without power.
“The suspects damaged and stole three-core jumper cables. The sector policing forum in collaboration with community patrollers and various security companies responded to the incident and arrested the suspects,” said City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena.
“The eight-year direct imprisonment will send a strong warning and serve as a deterrent to other would-be copper cable thieves.”
Mangena said City Power had made good initial strides towards its target of reducing cable theft and vandalism by 20% over the first six months of 2022. “In six days, multiple arrests have been made in various areas,” he said.
On Sunday, a suspect was arrested while digging up underground cable at the Roodepoort Sports Club.
Later that day, two thieves damaged a pole-to-ground supply cable in Hamburg, Roodepoort, causing an explosion.
“A vigilant customer went outside to investigate and two suspects were spotted fleeing the scene of crime,” said Mangena.
“A member of the community came forward with CCTV footage showing the suspect damaging the electricity network. The suspects are known in the area and their arrest is imminent.”