Copper thieves hit two suburbs

2013-01-22 00:00

RESIDENTS of Blackridge and Winters­kloof, near Sweet­waters in Pietermaritzburg, are suffering a communication blackout after copper thieves stole their telephone cables.

Telkom said in a statement yesterday that about 2,8 km of copper cable had been stolen in the Blackridge area, affecting more than 100 of its customers. The theft in the Winterskloof area had affected 50 customers.

It said phone services would be restored by Sunday.

“Telkom will also deploy security teams and install alarms in an attempt to curb the ongoing theft in the area,” the statement added.

It would work with the local councillor “to ensure community involvement and assistance”.

The cables were stolen in Winterskloof last Tuesday and in Blackridge on Thursday.

Dr Alleyn Diesel, of Blackridge, said residents had spent several days without the use of their landlines.

“The whole of Blackridge is without telephone communication,” said Diesel.

“We cannot send e-mails, or go onto the Internet because neither the dial-up nor the ­ADSL connections are working.

“We are at our wits’ end …

“We have wasted hundreds of rands calling Telkom employees to assist, but they do not even seem to understand the problem.

“They are telling us to go onto the Internet and we cannot do that …”

“I am an academic person. I need my line to connect to the Internet and to to be able to send and receive information … We are paying for a service that we are not receiving.”

Telkom said there was not sufficient coverage to consider a wireless solution for the suburbs.

It added: “Telkom Mobile is currently busy with the planning phase of deploying additional towers in the area.

“These customers will be migrated to wireless technology, which will be done over the next three weeks.”

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