City of Cape Town official dies after explosion caused by vandalised cables

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Electricity cables on a utility post that has been tampered with hang loose. PHOTO: kaylynne bantom
Electricity cables on a utility post that has been tampered with hang loose. PHOTO: kaylynne bantom
  • A City of Cape Town official has died after being injured when a vandalised electrical cable exploded.
  • The explosion occurred while the electricity team was attending to a power outage.
  • The man died in hospital a week later.

A City of Cape Town official has died after he suffered severe injuries when vandalised cables exploded as he attended to an outage in Gugulethu.

According to the City, Terence Henry Stringer died in hospital on 16 April, after suffering injuries when severely vandalised cables exploded on 4 April.

Stringer, four contractors and a member of the public were injured when the insulation on the damaged cables further deteriorated and caused an explosion. The electricity team attended to the outage in Gugulethu that was affecting the power supply to both Manenberg and Gugulethu. 

This was after residents told a delegation of government officials they felt unsafe due to crime, particularly in areas with poor lighting. 

"A section of the medium voltage cable had been excavated and set alight by criminals. It is utterly devastating that a colleague’s life has been lost due to the impact of infrastructure vandalism while in the line of duty," mayoral committee member for energy Beverley van Reenen said in a statement.

READ | 5 technicians among 6 seriously injured while fixing vandalised substation in Cape Town

Stringer joined the municipality in 1993 and was one of the first employees in the City’s Gugulethu Electricity Depot shortly after it was constructed as part of the its programme to bring services closer to the Manenberg and Gugulethu communities.

"Colleagues remember him for his commitment to his work and always going the extra mile. In his spare time, he enjoyed carpentry and was always willing to share his woodwork expertise with colleagues when anything needed to be repaired. Between jobs, he often kept the depot’s flower garden neat," Van Reenen said.

"The City has lost a valuable staff member, and our thoughts are with his wife and family." 

The power supply was restored, while technicians were working to repair around R160 000 worth of damages. 


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