Constant cable theft ‘ignored’

Desperate residents say BCM and law enforcement do nothing to stop it


Fed-up with rampant electricity cable theft in his neighbourhood, an East London man has drawn a line in the sand and vowed to do whatever it takes to stop thugs from stripping cables that connect his home.
Reeston residents have accused Buffalo City Metro of not doing anything despite their reporting the matter several times.
BCM spokespersons Samkelo Ngwenya and Luxole Komani failed to respond to questions sent to them on Monday.
Henry Loots, 65, said cable thieves were running rampant in the area.
“Nobody cares. I do not know what we can do now, we have phoned the municipality, law enforcement does not react and it is very difficult for us because they are destroying our pavement and road.”
Loots and his neighbour, Yvonne Muller, who said she once fired a warning shot on the ground to try scare away alleged cable theft thieves, said at times, they were without electricity for up to five days when cables were stolen.
But Loots, who claims to have received death threats from the alleged cable thieves, said enough was enough.
“They get really arrogant, they told me that they will kill us. They came to our pavement and told my son that our pavement is next to be dug up. We will not let the criminals intimidate us or dig on our pavement.
“The minute they get there someone will get hurt,” he vowed.
When the Daily Dispatch visited the area on Monday, two men were seen digging into a trench, while another was seen walking by with a spade.
“They follow the cables wherever they are, sometimes in broad daylight. We need to get somebody who is interested to save the infrastructure of East London to come and have a look here so we can make it difficult to steal these cables,” Loots said.
He believes the scourge is the work of a syndicate.
“Someone is controlling these guys and tells them where they must go and dig.
“I suspect some of the guys that lay the cables might be involved as they know where the cables are,” he said.
Loots said residents had to spend thousands on generators because without electricity their food in their fridges went off.
Muller echoed Loots’ words.
“They normally come and steal these cables a couple of times a week. I understand they haven’t got much money, they are poor, but their actions are also affecting us.
“I phoned BCM to get them to sort out the problem but the thieves run off when they see law enforcement.”..

This article is reserved for DispatchLIVE subscribers.

A subscription gives you full digital access to all our content.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Already registered on HeraldLIVE, BusinessLIVE, TimesLIVE or SowetanLIVE? Sign in with the same details.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.