Cables stolen 3 days after being replaced

2012-02-23 08:20

Johannesburg - Trains on the Leralla-Tembisa line on the East Rand were disrupted on Thursday morning because of cable theft, rail authorities said.

There were minor delays because 64 metres of cable had been stolen, Metrorail spokesperson Tony Games said.

Contingency plans were put in place to minimise any delays between Leralla and Kaalfontein.

Metrorail has arranged buses as an alternative for commuters and one line was open for trains to utilise, said Games.

"Metrorail sincerely apologises for the inconvenience caused and invites the community to report criminals stealing overhead cables to their nearest police stations."

The cable was stolen from the same area where Metrorail technicians had replaced 60 metres of stolen cable on Monday.

Metrorail security guards had apprehended seven people on Tuesday for the cable theft and handed them over to police.

  • Bardy - 2012-02-23 08:32

    We need a new form of electricity conduction or a better way to protect the current copper cables... It would cost a lot money, but I think laying the cables deeper and in concrete tubes would help a bit. In the long run they would save I think. This is really ridiculous.

      Nosiphom - 2012-02-23 08:55

      Nooooo - we need to shoot the cable thieves, why do we have to incur additional costs beacuse of these pests? Who is buying the cable? To steal 60 m of that kind of cable is a huge operation, remember those cables are very fat too, weighing quite a lot, - there is a syndicate behind this thing.It is not done by small petty thieves!

      Graham - 2012-02-23 08:58

      The Police can't be everywhere. Legislation should be promulgated whereby any scrap metal dealer in possession of burnt or unburnt cable is imprissoned for 5 years without option of bail.

      Dianne - 2012-02-23 09:03

      Like I've said before, it's a good thing we don't use the electric chair in SA. I would never work! More of these cable thieves must FRY themselves whilst in the act of their thieving. Scrap metal merchants are just as guilty because they buy the copper thus providing the copper thieving scum a means to make money from their crimes. All scrap metalmerchants caught buying copper should face jail, a hectic fine and closure of their businesses.

      John - 2012-02-23 10:49

      Double Bells for Graham !!!

      TheJaydedKing - 2012-02-23 11:59

      how is it that voltage drops are not monitored? the moment a cable is cut you should be able to see it.

  • Mo - 2012-02-23 08:35

    hahahaha. this country is a joke....

      Poloyatonki - 2012-02-23 09:13

      Trains are running smooth here in Cape Town.

      John - 2012-02-23 09:39

      I've said that Tembisa route is guarded by taxis, but no one suprised that trains are not hijacked yet.

      Bomb - 2012-02-23 09:41

      Poloy.....prob one of your better posts.

  • Rod - 2012-02-23 08:36

    Where are the cops. Too busy shooting handcuffed people in the back !!!!!!

  • spartanx93 - 2012-02-23 08:49

    SA can never have anything nice as our fellow bush people always end up destroying the services.

      Gcwabe-KaMavovo - 2012-02-23 11:01

      The bush people are merely doing the dirty work of hunting, while the baas takes the kill at the end of the day. Stop the baas from profiting frim illegal hunting and you'll stop the bush people from hunting for him.

      Bomb - 2012-02-23 11:26

      Gcwabe.......the bush people are very gullible and stupid to keep on falling into the trap of hunting for the baas.

      Gcwabe-KaMavovo - 2012-02-23 12:05

      Baas pays them, even if it's peanuts. They probably don't see a way out.

  • Ou - 2012-02-23 08:50

    hahahaha. this country is a joke....

  • Ou - 2012-02-23 08:51

    Yep, we will never escape our 3rd world status......

  • Hazel - 2012-02-23 08:54

    What do you expect... our govement if a great example to learn from!!!!!

  • Dianne - 2012-02-23 08:57


  • Johan - 2012-02-23 08:58

    The only way of stopping cable theft is to prevent scrapyards buying copper without paperwork to prove where the copper came from.

      John - 2012-02-23 09:44

      There is regulation Johan...but no one cares to follow

  • Clive - 2012-02-23 09:00

    If the cops can't find out who is buying such large quantities of stolen cable, and thereby eliminate the market, then they are either totally useless, or corrupt, but probably both. No doubt aided by inside information from Transnet, Eskom, etc. What a sick country.

      kosmonooit - 2012-02-23 09:31

      No, the cable is stripped of plastic normally by fire and then taken to scrap dealers - there is a big enterprise doing exactly this on top of the beautiful Linksfield Ridge in Jhb. Guess what's being used for firewood? The Protea trees growing up there. Has been reported to SAPS but continues to this day.

  • phakiso.shadrack2 - 2012-02-23 09:00

    Please managers do you not expell your employees. Thieves are stealing the cable and causing major delays on metro trains hence people are coming late at work.

  • kosmonooit - 2012-02-23 09:02

    What is being done by the powers that be to stop the trade of scrap yards buying stolen metals such as copper and cast iron and ever other scrap of iron that is being looted before our eyes? NOTHING!

      Steve - 2012-02-23 09:31

      There are no 'powers that be'. The cable's been stolen!

      Nosiphom - 2012-02-23 09:34

      They are part of the syndicate, you can't cut your own throat mate!

  • ludlowdj - 2012-02-23 09:06

    And strangely enough we USED to have a police force who's primary duty was to safeguard railway assets and commuters, strange thing democracy hey? Bottom line is that if the police force spent more time doing their jobs and less time being involved in self enrichment crimes and organised crime assistance you wouldn't have this problem, not to mention that if the ANC had fulfilled even one of its promises over the last 18 years the needs to steal would not be as great in the poorer sections of society. just another ANC FAIL

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-02-23 09:10

    This is part of our Government's plans to create jobs, stimulate the economy and generate more tax revenue. Probably some government officials get kick-backs from the countries to where scrap metal is exported. The best way to stop this is to ban the export of scrap metal and to rework (add value) to scrap metal locally. Stricker controls over the movement of metal is also required.

      maseratifittipaldi - 2012-02-23 10:55

      that bloody tee again!

  • TheyTookMyNickLaZynEko - 2012-02-23 09:21

    clearly you guys can't have trains up there anymore unless you sort out your other problems first!!!

  • Moroamofo - 2012-02-23 09:34

    The first suspects are the people who work for metrorail or the subcontracting companies to them. Week in and out we are late at work because of this. We buy monthly tickets and we do not budget for alternative transport.

  • MSGRule - 2012-02-23 09:36

    Criminals feel nothing for authority. As we say in Afrikaans "hulle voel f*k*l" The only way to ge things in line again is to treat criminals with the same respect. But it doesn't seem to work here in South Africa. Maybe we need to privatise the Police??

  • Derk - 2012-02-23 09:41

    they should change their nale to METROFAIL

  • cwboshoff - 2012-02-23 09:43

    Lol.... Here we go again.... Shoot those a-holes, don't give them a chance at going to prison, they'll only escape or something and do it again....

      Robsschele - 2012-02-23 09:50

      They will steal the iron bars in prison and sell it as scrap.

  • Bomb - 2012-02-23 09:47

    If I remember, we used to have the railway police, who was quite on par with the SAP in those wonderful days. Then the new government thought it well to remove this organization. There's an opportunity to create more jobs by bringing the railway police back to address railway issues. Im sure that using only 1c/litre of the ridiculous levy and tax implemented on fuel will be more than enough to fund this. So you see, there IS a solution, but your government just doesn't want to do it. And please do background and polygraph tests on possible new recruits, that way you will cancel out 95% of the potential candidates, but at least you'll get the best 5% to actually do a proper job of guarding these installations and equipment.

  • Ina - 2012-02-23 09:54

    Jail the buyers for life No offset, no reason to steal.

  • Louise - 2012-02-23 09:55

    We must have the most intelligent criminals in the world. These guys are untouchable. From rhino poachers to cable thieves it just boggles my mind that they can’t put a stop to this!

  • Peter - 2012-02-23 09:55

    None of the comments posted so far will solve the problem. The only solution is to close all S(crap) yards permanently. This however will most probably not be done as some well connected ANC members will then lose their income. Screw the lot.

  • jody.beggs - 2012-02-23 10:08

    Its an act of terrorism. Disrupting the lives of TAX paying citizens and should be punished accordingly. Damn the man.

  • mike.clery - 2012-02-23 10:08

    This is organized crime, and scrap dealers and exporters are the problem. It should be treated as the sabotage that it is, NOT theft. We have to live with the inconvenience of FICA and RICA, so why is it not a (serious) criminal offence to possess, for example, anything over 5kg of copper without fully traceable records of its origin? There's no political will to deal with this, and we can only wonder why ...

  • Roberto - 2012-02-23 10:10

    Just leave it broken like it is. Soon before long the community who depends on those trains, will get fed up, and the cable thieves will find themselves in hot water

      mike.clery - 2012-02-23 10:14

      No, they'll burn the trains ....

  • Fernando - 2012-02-23 10:10

    lol they took an aditional 4 meters that was replaced !

  • John Murray McKay - 2012-02-23 10:17

    Everyone knows the good copper cables are in the new gauteng toll gates...

      Barry - 2012-02-23 12:29

      ......and silver soldered electrical connections and components

  • butch.poulter - 2012-02-23 10:21

    Supply and demanded. STOP THE SCRAP DEALERS.

  • Heiku - 2012-02-23 10:25

    This is why we can't have nice things!

  • Stray - 2012-02-23 10:57

    Where are the markets for our stolen copper? China, India and other Asian countries that manufacture electronics comes to mind. There are syndicates at work here, in cahoots with corrupt government officials paid to protect them. This could be the one of the reason why government want to muzzle the media through their "info bill". Keep digging newshounds!

  • Gcwabe-KaMavovo - 2012-02-23 11:17

    The Copper suppliers. What hand do they have in all of this? Imagine selling somebody a blue car, and then at night stealing it from him. I then paint it red and sell it to him again because I know he's desperate. I've made myself money out of nothing by simply having a car.

  • Mohsin - 2012-02-23 14:04


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