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Cable theft causes extended power outages again

Extended power outages on Monday early evening, 12 September in George affected a wide area including the George CBD, George Industrial area, parts of Thembalethu, Pacaltsdorp, Groeneweide Park, Herold’s Bay, Bos en Dal, George South and Delville Park. The duration of the outage was between 19h00 – 21h00 with certain areas being restored quicker than others.

On being alerted to repeat tripping of one of our 66Kv lines,  a municipal electrician went out to do a thorough investigation of the situation and discovered that the 66KV line had been damaged with parts of the line missing or  lying on the ground. The cost of damage and theft  to electrical infrastructure is estimated at R1.1 million. A case of damage to, and theft of electrical infrastructure was opened on 13 September 2022 at the Conville Police Station.

As a temporary measure and in order to restore power to the affected areas, the line (located between the N2 and Tamsui Substation) was secured  and municipal Law Enforcement officials together with a private security service provider kept guard to ensure no further damage or theft could take place.  The 66Kv line is currently in the process of being repaired and it is expected to take up to 5 days before the line is fully functional.

Executive Mayor Ald Van Wyk condemned the theft and vandalism to essential municipal electrical infrastructure. “George Municipality cannot overemphasize the danger of stealing or tampering with energised cables. We strongly warn the public to refrain from stealing municipal property, as it is not only cause huge losses paid from taxpayer’s money,   but also poses severe danger to the lives of those tampering with energised cables,” he said.

The reward for information leading to successful prosecution
George Municipality will pay a reward of R2500 to any person who offers information on vandalism and theft incidents, and which information leads to the successful conviction of the perpetrator in a court of law.  The paying of a reward is legal in terms of the MFMA (Municipal Finance Management Act) and is seen as a necessary step to combat the expenditure on the repair of vandalized and stolen infrastructure. These assets are managed by the municipality on behalf of the public and it is George Municipality’s request to all our residents to assist us in looking after and protecting these assets.

The public can contact the Anti-fraud toll-free number 0860 044 044 or report vandalism and theft verbally, by email, or any municipal or SAPS telephone numbers. The member of public reporting will have to supply their name and contact details as their testimony may be required for the successful conviction of the perpetrators. The identity of those helping will be protected.

George Municipality calls on the community to please assist us in eradicating theft and vandalism, to allow the municipality to improve service delivery levels and continue to improve the quality of people’s lives.

Report Illegal connections to 044 801 9222 or after hours on 044 801 6300. Report to 0860 044 044 with details to be eligible for the reward.