Vandalism and theft at substations to cost metro thousands

Former electricity and energy acting executive director Bernhardt Lamour. File picture
Former electricity and energy acting executive director Bernhardt Lamour. File picture
Image: Brian Witbooi

Vandalism and theft at Bay substations between July and October will cost the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality more than R750 000 in damages.

Former electricity and energy acting executive director Bernhardt Lamour -in the report to be tabled at the infrastructure and engineering committee on Wednesday- wrote the theft and vandalism could be attributed to the slack security at the sites.

According to the report the 65 cases of theft and vandalism amounts to R751 182.

Some of the affected substations are in North End, Walmer, Humerail, Central, Struanway, Wolfson Stadium and Njoli (Kwazakele).

The Herald has previously reported on how Bay substations are at the mercy of vandals and criminals as a result of little to no security.

The situation is further exacerbated by the lack of CCTV cameras at some of the sites.

In the report Lamour wrote there was no signs of forced entry at some of the sites were theft occurred despite them being locked.

“Situations are occurring whereby alleged thieves and vandals are gaining access to substations throughout [the metro] with the intent of forcibly and illegally removing any exposed copper earthing and associated cabling,” Lamour wrote.

"Forcible entry to these substations is in most cases gained [but] there are instances where there is no forced entry. We suspect that the thieves and vandals may have keys to open the locks,” Lamour wrote.

He also wrote that a neutral conductor had been stolen from one of the substations resulted in a large number of residents left without electricity.

Following a visit to Ekurhuleni Metro, Lamour has asked that the city consider appointing a contractor to investigate syndicates operating within the metro.

Lamour claimed Ekurhuleni had reduces its vandalism and theft rate by 70%.

The matter will be debated in the infrastructure and engineering committee on Wednesday afternoon.

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