The MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sipho Hlomuka, welcomes the arrest of seven men who have been found in possession of copper and cables that are worth an estimated amount of R1.5 million.
The information which the department received, indicates that on the 25th of July 2022, a specialised multi-disciplinary task team comprising of the South African Police Service (SAPS), the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), Metro Police, Transnet, Telkom, and Eskom, discovered an illegal scrap metal dealer in Ntuzuma A-Section. The dealer was discovered manufacturing traditional three-legged pots using copper and cables that are said to belong to eThekwini Municipality and Transnet.
The specialised task team raided the house in Ntuzuma following a tip-off that they had received. Upon arriving, they found several stripped copper cables. The suspects were charged with being in possession of the stolen property and for participating in various illegal activities.
The MEC said while the country is still faced with the issue of load shedding, the theft of cables will continue to negatively affect communities as they will be left without any electricity supply and communication network.
MEC Hlomuka says that these arrests are a clear indication of the dedication of law enforcement agencies in addressing the scourge of economic infrastructure-related crimes. He says the arrests send a strong message about the government’s commitment to fight crime and prevent further damage and loss to public infrastructure.