Telkom cable theft hits Gauteng

2013-04-19 14:05
Cable thieves have disruptions to telephone lines in Gauteng, Telkom has reported. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Cable thieves have disruptions to telephone lines in Gauteng, Telkom has reported. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Cable thieves have caused disruptions to telephone lines in Gauteng, Telkom reported on Friday.

"Telkom services in the Hennopspark, Akasia and Rietvlei exchange areas were disrupted last night when cable thieves cut and removed several main cables," Telkom said in a statement.

The thefts caused disruptions to customers with specific exchange codes and Telkom says the service will take around a week to be fully restored.

"The theft caused major service disruptions and customers with the exchange codes 653, 480 and 549 in the Chantelle extensions, Hartbeeshoek, Amandasig, Karenpark, Verresig, Mooikloof Ridge extensions, Rietvallei, Rooihuiskraal extensions and Wierda Glen suburbs are affected," Telkom said.

Around 1 500 customers are affected, including 255 businesses and 163 corporate lines, the state-owned enterprise said.

"We appeal to customers in this area to be on high alert and to report any suspicious activity to the Telkom 24 hour crime/fraud hotline number 0860 124 000," said Telkom managing executive for Network Field Services, Theo Hess.

Cable theft is a serious problem in SA, affecting business operations and thieves usually find wiling scrap buyers for the copper.

Commuters were stuck between Pretoria and Johannesburg on when 55m of overhead cable was stolen recently.

"All corridors in the north of Pretoria [were] badly affected with delays escalating to over 120 minutes, inconveniencing hundreds of commuters from all the corridors," Metrorail said of the incident.

Much of the "last mile" data network is copper, and this represents an attractive prize for thieves.

Part of the solution might be the rollout of a broadband fibre network, but cost is a challenge, despite efforts to do so.


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