Copper theft: the navy is left ‘deaf in one ear’

2013-03-18 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Copper theft at the SA Navy’s Silvermine communications centre on the Cape Peninsula is so out of hand that it can no longer support the ­navy’s radio communications.

There are two primary communication stations — the main one at Silvermine and a secondary station in Durban.

With Silvermine out of action, the navy is now effectively “deaf in one ear”, says the DA’s defence spokesperson, David Maynier.

Maynier yesterday made an urgent call on Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to step in, but defence force spokespersons told Sapa they would only be able to answer queries later in the week.

Silvermine is a national key point, but it seems that holes were cut in its fences more than a year ago. They have still not been repaired.

It is understood that there are two sets of antennae at Silvermine. The set higher up the mountain, with 51 antennae, is apparently completely out of action.

Maynier claimed that five kilometres of copper cable had been stolen from the facility in the past year.

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