Pretoria blackouts work of saboteurs - mayor

2014-07-02 19:27
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Pretoria - Electricity blackouts in Centurion, south of Pretoria, were caused by saboteurs, Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said on Wednesday.

"We think that this amounts to sabotage, just to undermine the economy of the capital city and the nation in general," he told reporters in Pretoria.

"We have escalated the matter to various law enforcement agencies at a national level. There must be some degree of intelligence gathering capacity to help us resolve this problem."

Large parts of Centurion were without electricity since early Sunday morning due to vandalism and theft of cables at Pretoria's Brakfontein and Kentron sub-stations.

The areas affected included Centurion CBD, Swartkop, Highveld, Ecopark, Brakfontein, Rooihuiskraal, Amberfield, the Reeds, Noordwes, Thatchfield, and Wierda Park.

Ramokgopa said the city had two major power failures affecting Centurion.

Electricity was restored to some areas on Tuesday night but others would be in the dark until Friday.

"Regarding the loss on those two power stations, the losses are around R8m. This is the extent of the inconvenience that our people are going to experience," said Ramokgopa.

Since April, there had been more than 450 incidents of cable theft and tampering with electricity sub-stations which cost the city an additional R20m.

"There was another attempt this morning to undermine the electricity supply by tampering with our sub-station in Lyttelton. A similar incident also happened in Atteridgeville," he said.

The Kentron sub-station erupted into flames on Monday due to the vandalism and theft of accessories.

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