Power cuts are not always caused by bad weather or the dreaded load-shedding crisis. Sometimes they are caused by illegal activities such as cable theft, which has become a concern for Centlec as it causes damage to the network.
“Cable theft is one of the serious challenges facing us as Centlec. This is where criminals and those commonly known as zama zamas are targeting our electrical network and infrastructure by removing and stealing our cables that supplies electricity to our customers and businesses.”
According to Centlec’s spokesperson, Lele Mamatu, an additional danger of cable theft is an increase in crime as well as high costs of maintenance for the utility. He added that the utility does receive tip-offs where crime is suspected to have happened or members of the public will report incidents through their fraud hotline.
“We do random inspections and patrols throughout the city. These criminals target our areas randomly. Especially in parts of the city that are mostly quiet and where there is not much traffic. This happens mostly at night and during the early hours,” he added.
According to Mamatu some of the recent incidents took place in Hamilton, Bloemspruit, the CBD and in the northern parts of the city. “It is important that members of the community work with us and report any other suspicious activity to us or the nearest police station. The fraud hotline is open 24/7 for reporting such cases, including those who are tampering with our meters with the aim of stealing electricity,” he concluded.
To report suspicious activity, contact the fraud hotline on Whatsapp at 064-616-5774.