Solar panel theft isolates farmers

Karoo farming community want action from Telkom

FARMERS in Steytlerville and Klipplaat are virtually cut off from the rest of the world after solar panels on their Telkom towers were stolen.

With landlines in the remote areas being the only form of communication for many farmers, Telkom has not replaced the solar panels since the theft.

It was first reported to the police in October.

Stretching over a radius of at least 70km, a drive on the remote Karoo roads next to the livestock and game farms shows every tower visible from the roads stripped.

Steytlerville farmer Philip Hayward said it seemed a syndicate had moved onto the farms and stripped the solar panels overnight.

“We use the landline to communicate with our workers, but cannot communicate with them or them with us. We have to walk 700m from the house and stand on a koppie to get cellphone reception,” Hayward said.

-Cindy Preller 

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