Cable thieves deprive area of needed services

2018-06-28 06:00
Cables stolen and left a trench open on Lansdowne Road next to OR Tambo Hall in Site B.PHOTO: unathi obose

Cables stolen and left a trench open on Lansdowne Road next to OR Tambo Hall in Site B.PHOTO: unathi obose

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Khayelitsha residents are concerned by the escalating criminal acts occurring in the area, which has had a negative impact on community relations.

Residents from Temporary Relocation Area (TRA) in Site B are complaining about the theft of copper cables next to Lansdowne Road in the area. They said the brazen criminals have a tendency to steal the cables in broad-daylight.

“Eskom had installed copper cables underground in various areas in Khayelitsha. The project started early this year but I can tell you there is no copper now the criminals dug it up,” says Cindy Mpafa.

She says it’s has been almost two months now that the trenches have been left open since the thefts.

“These cables were going to help us, supplying us with power, instead, we are getting injured in these trenches at night because they are lying open.

“Last month, my husband fell in the trench one night. And some people are relieving themselves in them during the night,” says Mpafa.

When City Vision visited the area, we found that criminals had opened and stolen cables for the entire 50 metres of trench.

Ward 89 councillor Monde Nqulwana says these incidents left the residents high and dry, depriving them of much needed services.

“This incident affects the whole of Khayelitsha­.

“It is not only here by the OR Tambo Hall. It starts at Thembokwezi Square and stretches down Lansdowne Road until the vicinity next to the OR Tambo Hall. Our security agencies are weak, because the whole thing takes place under their watch,” says Nqulwana.

“Eskom had installed the cables but found out that it’s not properly functioning and they used devices to check where the problem is, they found it and dug to check what is the problem. But they worked until late and left it open. That was when the criminals took advantage and stole it (cables­)­.”

He says Eskom has to come back and reinstall the cables because they are needed.

Khayelitsha Development Forum Chairperson Ndithini Tyhido described the cable theft as part of criminality but refused to comment further, citing that this will be part of the agenda in the upcoming summit to be held at False Bay College in Khayelitsha this Saturday (30 June).

“We refuse to respond to the media in isolation. All those community challenges, we will discuss them at the Khayelitsha Human Settlement Basic Service Summit on Saturday,” he says.

Eskom had not responded to questions at the time of going to press.

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