Call for urgent probe into municipal officials’ involvement in cable theft

2013-06-07 00:00

EVIDENCE of involvement by municipal officials in cable theft has prompted KZN Co-operative Governance MEC Nomusa Dube to call for an urgent probe.

Dube was alerted to the possible involvement of officials through her engagements with Eskom and visits to communities under the provincial government’s “Sakuma Sakhe” campaign.

Her spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said communities had raised the matter with the MEC and there had been reports in the media.

He said the allegations were first raised by communities in eThekwini, which is the province’s economic hub. Mabaso said Dube was concerned, given the rampant loss of municipal electricity cables in the province, and the fact that officials were being implicated.

He added that at this stage they were not in a position to quantify the losses, but have asked municipalities to keep records.

“No mattter how small the amount, it still needs to be nipped in the bud, as electricity cable theft poses a huge threat to economic development and to the wellbeing of ordinary citizens,” Mabaso said.

He added that Dube had said the provincial government will be following up with municipalities where these allegations have been reported, to get updates on the progress of investigations.

Dube called for a more widespread investigation into officials’ involvement in the theft of municipal property and for the focus not just to be on specific incidents reported by whistleblowers.

“Municipalities should go beyond just looking at electricity, but also investigate around other services such as water, among others,” she said.

Dube also called on municipalities to put mechanisms in place to curb staff involvement in theft.

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