Copper thieves silence city radio stations

2015-01-31 00:00

PROFESSIONAL cable thieves on Thursday ripped out a section of cable powering the 90-metre Sentech mast that carries signal for FM radio stations in the greater Msunduzi area.

The thieves cut a fence and climbed halfway up the mast, where they sawed off two coaxial cables and pulled them down the housing using a bakkie.

Jerry Sizwe Jones, Capital 104 FM head, said the theft only affected the regional stations intermittently, but totally silenced his station and the voices of his competitors at uMgungundlovu Radio.

“This means approximately 100 000 listeners could not listen to their favourite community DJs all of Thursday and most of Friday [yesterday].”

Yesterday Sentech riggers and antennae technicians were using their own bakkie and long ropes to hoist two 150-m long sections of thick cable up the transmission tower on World’s View.

Technicians got the alarm of a cut cable shortly after 2 am and work to reinstall the two stolen sections of coaxial cables started at dawn. The riggers said they should finish late in the afternoon yesterday.

Their main problem was to source the coaxial transmission feeder cables, which can only be ordered from specialist manufacturers overseas and are in limited supply in SA.

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