Delays on Gautrain due to cable theft

2013-03-20 08:01

Johannesburg - The Gautrain running between Midrand and Samrand will be delayed on Wednesday because of cable theft, an official said.

"Approximately 370m of signalling cable was stolen between Midrand and Samrand. Our security recovered the stolen cable soon after the theft," Bombela Concession Company spokesperson Errol Braithwaite said.

Braithwaite said they were expecting the delays to be between 15 and 30 minutes.

"All trains between Centurion and Midrand will run at 30km/h."

They hoped the problem would be fixed before midday. Trains running east-west, including the airport service, were not affected.

"We look to the authorities to act decisively to stamp out the scourge of the illegal copper trade," he said.


  • En Gineer - 2013-03-20 08:03

    Sigh. Oh well

      procold2 - 2013-03-20 09:00

      Supposed to be state of the art,double sigh.

      mike.lindsay.7927 - 2013-03-20 09:56

      It could have been expected that copper wire thieves would target the Gautrain cables. So why weren't fibre-optics used instead ? To save costs ? And at what cost overall to a transport system, apparently of first world standard. Isn't it time that cable thieves were dealt with most harshly, in keeping with the costs of repairing the damage they cause and with the inconvenience heaped upon so many commuters making use of the transport system. And what about the taxi industry ? They are the only ones most likely to benefit from the continued theft of rail system cabling, apart from the scrap metal merchants of course.

      zip.reeper - 2013-03-20 13:36

      morning folks, glad to be back. not very reassuring. this is a glaring security breach. they might as well have stolen the track and we would have seen 100 Gautrain passensgers' remains spread along the line like red and white striped toothpaste. put the dumb traffic cops speed-trapping motorists on the N1 on security detail along the track instead. oh no, THEY would probably then scale stuff. *sigh*

  • Gary5 - 2013-03-20 08:07

    Our showcase transport system cannot be guarded even. First threats to burn it now cable theft?? Somebody arrest that idiot on suspecion

      Paul Keys - 2013-03-20 11:46

      This is a global issue. With the prices of copper rising it makes cable theft very attractive - and not only in South Africa as some of you might think. I can't tell you how many delays I have here in the UK:

  • Justin Rens - 2013-03-20 08:09

    why wouldn't a 21st century operation use fiber-optic cables for signaling?

      briantebogo - 2013-03-20 08:41

      Excellent question!

      Denis Dendrinos - 2013-03-20 09:40

      Haven't kept up with fibre optic technology, but isn't it very expensive? Esp for what would be the routes length as well as signal boosters etc? Last I checked everyone was upset the gautrain had already gone over budget - imagine if they had included fibre optics in the price?

      JanGrimbeek - 2013-03-20 09:47

      They will only realise that the cables are made of fibre optic when they get to the scrap yard to sell it.

      Cinda Eatock - 2013-05-01 18:59

      My thoughts to I am doing my science expo on this very thing and there are so many answers why are we not doing them Fiber-optic wireless sensors are the answer

  • cayle.barsby - 2013-03-20 08:20

    sigh..funny thing is it happens in the UK as well

      briantebogo - 2013-03-20 08:41

      Really? That's shocking!

  • NickvanGraan - 2013-03-20 08:21

    When the Gautrain was built, it was claimed that the cables were "theft proof" when the subject of cable theft was brought up. As far as I know this is now the second or third time there has been major theft of Gautrain cables. "We look to the authorities to act decisively to stamp out the scourge of the illegal copper trade" That is a very bland "must say" statement, and a complete waste of breath.

  • Junior Mahlo - 2013-03-20 08:28

    It could be those guys who treatend to burn it because it speaks English lol

      briantebogo - 2013-03-20 08:42


  • JeanMeyer - 2013-03-20 08:28

    Cape Town's MyCiti bus system hasn't had any problems ever. No strikes, no theft, and it just keeps on improving.

  • Dan Skosana - 2013-03-20 08:29

    Hi! Firstly I think the Mbombela con should do research whereby they connect small /shorter cables directly on the rail line than the overhead cables. Secondly the government should and justice department should take seriously the cable theft by constituting it as surpotage against the state. Thrd and lastly trade and industry should propose the law to say only state entities may buy and sell coper to smelters. FROM NOLENGA @KWAMHLANGA

      Dudu Netshiavha - 2013-03-20 15:38

      Nolenga Kwamhlanga nina ni applayela nini i train kwandebele? how many people must still die on Moloto road because of Putco? angilwi nawe i'm just asking

  • mlungisi.kunene - 2013-03-20 08:33

    Metro-rail commuter threat to sabotage Gautrain is valid..Gautrain can not circumvent these theft.

  • Rahil Khanna - 2013-03-20 08:36

    This is ridiculous ! Time and again it happens ..surely theres ways to prevent this ...alarm sensors ....or something ?

  • andresmith - 2013-03-20 08:36

    Cable theft on a railway line is the same as blowing up the tracks. This is sabotage. When will the authorities get this.

      Konrad Bosco - 2013-03-20 09:01

      Economic sabotage. If they catch the scum they should be charged for treason.

      Don Tandy - 2013-03-20 09:40

      Don't forget that jobs like replacing cables are quite lucrative - and who is handling the tenders?

  • Tshepo Maganedisa - 2013-03-20 08:37

    Why the outcry all of a sudden, when its metrorail no one says anything but its Gautrain and the world has to pause for all the passengers to be at work on time?how many people lost and still looses their job because of cable theft related to metrorail and now the elite are affected its everywhere

      Vaughan - 2013-03-20 08:59

      Must say have to agree. Why is the Gautrain reported on for copper theft, when copper theft is now a way of life in Gauteng from traffic lights out of order, a Telkom network that has shrunk to almost nothing and power outagaes. I do find however find the statement "We look to the authorities to act decisively to stamp out the scourge of the illegal copper trade" quite funny. Just down the road at Olievenhoutbos they openly burn the cables to remove the cover and process the copper and the cops do nothing.

      Ingrid Molapisi - 2013-03-20 12:50

      i think metrorail passengers should take their issues to relevant authorities and stop blaming gautrain for their train incompetence. Gautrain also serves international passengers frm O.R Tambo and thats 1 of its main services.those are two different trains

  • Valencia Kutlwano Makhubele - 2013-03-20 08:39

    I thought that the Gautrain's cables were well managed hence it was said that it will not operate in soweto due 2 the theft n vandalism of soweto.... Well i guess the authority will now realise that crime is everywhere.... Watch out 4 staff-riding

      Dudu Netshiavha - 2013-03-20 15:40

      hai its good it didn't go to soweto, lona le batla everything on your sides hai

  • Nhlapo Pk Phoka - 2013-03-20 08:46

    Morons. Are they tired to steal Metro rail cabbles? I fail to understand how this morons manage to steal such HIGH voltage cables. Where are we going mara in SA, people will go all the way to steal even a bottle of water.

      Dudu Netshiavha - 2013-03-20 15:41

      i think hunger causes anger and in SA it goes hand in hand with stupidity

  • VhoNkozana Mavhudza - 2013-03-20 08:47

    Im late for work :-(

  • Kim SaiyanPrincess Murison - 2013-03-20 08:51

    - messing with people's lives and incomes!!!!!!!!

  • Don Tandy - 2013-03-20 08:52

    And the joke continues - but no-one is laughing.

      Don Tandy - 2013-03-20 08:58

      Perhaps the guards missed the cable thieves because they were too busy watching out for gum chewers.

  • anakin.skyvader.9 - 2013-03-20 08:54

    Can't they replace all the signalling cables with wireless modules? Why cable again?

  • sean.odonnell.1466126 - 2013-03-20 08:54

    It is unacceptable that the actions of a few can "derail" the transport of so many. Cable thieves should be shot on sight. Ok,so this solution is a little extreme, but it will have the right result.

      Don Tandy - 2013-03-20 09:00

      Police shooting at themselves?????

  • Johan Van Der Vyver - 2013-03-20 08:59

    'We look to the authorities to act decisively to stamp out the scourge of the illegal copper trade'. They probably share in the profits lol

  • lunghile.ndleve - 2013-03-20 09:02

    What is wrong with these train people!!!? You have seen metro rail having cable theft problems for decades. How about before starting construction and running the Gautrain you start by resolving the cable theft issue? I am sure there were more than 50 engineers during the Hazard and Operability study? Surely the word cable theft must have come up a 1000 times or more!!! Did they just brush it aside and hoped that the cable thief's would die out? Something is not right, I am starting to think cable theft might be profitable for train service providers.

  • Badger - 2013-03-20 09:06

    WTF ????? How the hell do these guys steal almost half a kilometer of cable without being caught ?????

  • Tiaan Truter - 2013-03-20 09:10

    No use to catch them,because our wonderful justice system will just release them back into society so that they can just do it again and again.

  • Joe Irwin - 2013-03-20 09:13

    The Gautrain has only been been in operation for a few years and cable theft on the metro lines has been around for decades. Surely cable theft prevention was considered during the planning stage of this multi billion rand project!

  • Lula Lul'd Nqadini - 2013-03-20 09:15

    So what Metrorail has the same problem but it never makes the news,Blah blah blah blah!!!

  • Nkoneni Albert Netshiendeulu - 2013-03-20 09:31

    Sorry; i will sound a bit xenophobic here although i am not. In SA we have been having these cables all along and there were not cable theft but since the begining of this "demostration of craziness" popularly known as democracy; where they(ANC gov) leave all borders open for forein nationals to enter our country free of charge and in abundance, we started experiencing this cable theft. I give the previous government a thump up for being able to control the influx of foreign nationals at our ports; they were doing a superb job. But now unfortunately SA is for everyone who lives in it and we(including foreigners) all have same rights, that's why tomorrow we all celebrating human rights day irrespective of whether you are a foreigner or not. Please let's help each other to get these foreigners out of this country and everything will go back to normal; they are taking our country from bad to worse. There must also be a tight police guard at each and every metal scrapyard because that's where this idiots are selling this cables. Look at dangerous uncovered underground water holes; popularly known as mainholes. They are stealing all the covers to sell for R40 if not less and it poses a huge risk or danger to our kids; they are always being swallowed by this trap holes. Please let's unite as South Africans and do something about these palookas.

      MysticBoer - 2013-03-20 12:42

      Well said Nkoneni! There is xenophobia and then there is xenophobia. Protecting what is yours isn't xenophobia it is your God given right to do so.

  • Jimmy Don - 2013-03-20 09:36

    Thats the result you get when you try and introduce 1st world infrastructure/technology in a 3rd world country unfortunately.

  • John Nkulu - 2013-03-20 09:45

    When Gautrain is late, it makes headlines and they act swiftly to restore the operations. When metro-rail is late (as is everyday), it makes no headlines and when they finally decide to do something about it, they do so at a snail's pace. Q: are gautrain commuters more equal than the metro-rail commuters? Yes, they are! Do they contribute more to the economy than other commuters? Yes, they do! Would they be without every1 else? No, they wudnt! Why? Simply because without one wheel, remains a car, but it wont take you nowhere!

      JanGrimbeek - 2013-03-20 09:57

      Gautrain passengers pay for the service, Metro Rail passengers sneak ride without paying.

      Denis Dendrinos - 2013-03-20 10:09

      John - a private consortium runs the gautrain - Bombela, whereas metro rail is run by.......*ta da da daaaaa* the government. Do you really still want to ask why the difference? And I gotta agree with Jan - see it at Rhodesfield all the time - people sneaking in and rising between the cars. if you don;t pay they can;t make it better.

      Ingrid Molapisi - 2013-03-20 12:14

      there's a huge difference between gautrain and metrorail..i wish ppl could start realising that..i mean metrorail is always having problems nd commuters travel with it nt saying its gud but stop blaming gautrain for metrorail problems..there's a reason y da payments are higher and people use it from o.r tambo when they cum frm overseas because its made also for such reasons.tell the minister if u got problems and stop the gautrain jealousy thing

  • Deon Louw - 2013-03-20 10:21

    Bring your own cables from Brisbane "sus", we might need it.

  • Stephan Annandale - 2013-03-20 10:35

    The government can't even prevent cable theft for an essential form of transport to run smoothly - seriously? How do thieves get to these cables anyway? weren't these rails secured and made safe from public access? Wow. I don't even know what to say.

      Ingrid Molapisi - 2013-03-20 12:16

      government this government that *so bored* cant u see that this is an inside job?

  • RenĂ© Steenkamp - 2013-03-20 10:45

    How long is it going to take for people to burn the train because the trains are running late? They already do it on the Metro rail trains. Don't ask me how this makes sense, but it gets done around here.

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-03-20 11:44

    There are so many scourges waiting to be cleared up, the copper trade is only one of them.

  • MysticBoer - 2013-03-20 12:32

    That's what you get when trying to implement first world technology in a third world country!

  • Dudu Netshiavha - 2013-03-20 15:33

    well we I'm sure they saw it coming following last week's threats

  • Sonnyboy Mathebula - 2013-03-20 15:40

    good news ,i like it like that

  • Cinda Eatock - 2013-05-01 18:57

    Spend the money government monitor the Pylons with the latest technology in the world connect the alarm signal to the station commanders get the police services to get there create jobs for the vendors to monitor-stop blaming hungry people do your job and people would not have to risk their lives to steal some copper for their daily bread for the night

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