The City of Joburg has pinned the series of power cuts experienced in parts of north Joburg on cable theft and vandalism.

City Power, Joburg’s electricity utility, had noticed a surge in power outages in these areas over the past few weeks. Investigations pointed to the incidents as the main causes.

City Power has appealed to residents to  to report any suspicious behaviour or fraudulent conduct as these incidents compromise the stability of the network and impact on service delivery.

“The more frequent residents report vandalism and cable theft incidents, the easier it becomes for City Power to monitor trends related to cable theft in communities where these crimes are committed. This information ensures that correct resources are dispatched to areas where they are most required,” City Power spokesperson, Yumna Sheik said in a statement.

Theft and vandalism cost millions

Highlighting the effect cable theft and vandalism has on the city’s coffers, it said it loses more than R30 million annually to related incidents.

City Power has launched several campaigns to fight the scourge, including using response vehicles to patrol high-risk areas.

“However, there are limitations as patrol vehicles are unable to cover large areas, making it difficult to prevent every cable theft incident,” said Sheik.

The utility has also installed aerial bundle conductors across the city to discourage cable theft. Power outages are also caused by illegal connections as they overload the system and render power supply service unreliable.

Residents are urged to report theft and vandalism anonymously to the following numbers: 0800 002 587 or 011 490-7504/7553/7911/7900.