Drakenstein Municipality finding ways to curb costly copper cable theft

The municipality has been forced to find alternative solutions because repairs have become costly and dangerous for municipal staff.

Exposed copper cable lines. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN – The Drakenstein Municipality said it’s working with law enforcement agencies and farm watches to combat cable theft.

It’s been forced to find alternative solutions because repairs have become costly and dangerous for municipal staff.

The Drakenstein Municipality’s Law Enforcement division is using smart technology such as drones, cable alarms and monitors, as well as quick and easy radio communication with security agencies to speed up its response to incidents of cable theft.

The Municipality’s Riana Geldenhuys said in Paarl last year, thieves not only stole new copper cables less than a week after they were replaced, but also robbed technicians in broad daylight while they were repairing the damaged infrastructure.

Officials then decided all copper cables would be replaced by aluminium cables, which led to a steep decline in cable theft.

Given the additional expense of replacing the copper cables, the project could only begin in the new financial year that started on 1 July.

Geldenhuys said the process of appointing a contractor was already under way, and repairs were expected to begin in Paarl’s Van der Stel Street later in September.

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