Complaint paid off, says local

2016-03-08 06:00

Cable theft, in particular of copper telephone lines, has been a bugbear of many for the last few years.

For one Athlone resident, persistence paid off in order to obtain a favourable end-result.

Raaniyah Daniels from Parktown eventually had her Telkom line restored to full functionality following numerous attempts, even after the business continually said it was not able to restore regular service to her line in a stipulated period of time.

However, despite Daniels’s situation, the issue of cable theft is a criminal one and cannot always be placed at Telkom’s doorstep.

Pynee Chetty, national spokesperson of Telkom, reiterates that mechanisms are in place to ensure that service is restored to areas affected by cable theft. Each situation differs from the next, meaning that in some cases, a solution may take longer, Chetty says.

“In some areas, Telkom has observed a trend in the deliberately determined cycle of theft. This is damaging businesses, depriving our customers of a basic service and, in some cases, adversely affecting their security. Of course this is affecting our capacity to deliver services within acceptable time intervals.”

Daniels reported that Telkom cables had been stolen in her area in late January.

“We were first told that it was going to be fixed, then secondly, after logging numerous faults, we were told that [Telkom] would not be fixing it as our area is seen as a high-risk area for theft,” she says.

Telkom then informed her that cable theft in the area had already taken place on three separate occasions, but that the latest instance of theft had been the first time it had affected Telkom.

Telkom apparently questioned why better safety measures had not been implemented to avoid another theft.

Daniels also approached Suzette Little, ward councillor for the area, for help.

In escalating her frustration Daniels then complained on social media, which led to a response from the telecommunications company, which ensured that the entire area that had been affected – from Loerie Road down to Bosduif Road – was repaired.

Chetty says Telkom has adopted various interventions in its efforts to counter copper cable theft.

“In cases where it has become virtually impossible to eliminate service interruptions, wireless-based products, among others, are offered to customers as an alternative to the normal fixed wire line service.”

Chetty mentions that these services can only be offered to customers who live within the footprint area of Telkom’s already existing wireless technology.

“Copper cable theft remains the biggest inhibitor to Telkom’s capability to improve service levels.”

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