The George Municipality wishes to commend the law enforcement agencies and SAPS for the swift action that led to the arrest of five suspects in connection with theft and vandalising of a power supply cable connected to the 66kv that is situated at the back of the sewer pump station at Gwaing on Saturday, 1 January 2022.
The municipality suffered a huge financial blow with an estimated 1800 meters of cable stolen with an approximate value of R1 million. The retrieved cable is useless and cannot be reused.
The municipality cannot provide extensive detail with regards to the police investigation, but we are satisfied to report that the police have arrested two adults and three minors from Syferfontein in connection with this incident. The arrested persons will appear in court soon.
George Municipality cannot overemphasize the danger of stealing or tampering with energised cables. “We would like to warn the public to refrain from stealing municipal property as it is not only causing huge losses from the public’s coffers but also poses danger to the lives of those tampering with energised cables,” said Dr Michele Gratz, acting municipal manager.
“Information available at this stage suggests that, although no spillages or damage to the pump station were caused, the electrical line was tripped by the thieves. The alleged thieves could have been seriously injured or killed if the line had fallen on them or they touched it while energized,” Dr Gratz added. If a sewerage spill did occur, the environmental and health implications would have been far-reaching for the community.
A reward for information leading to a 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 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.