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Suspects arrested for Eskom copper cable theft
Tuesday 21 January 2020: Two suspects were arrested for allegedly trying to sell 293 kg of Eskom copper cable to the value of R30 000 to a scrap metal dealer in Booysens, Johannesburg.  The two appeared at the Booysens Magistrate Court on Monday, 14 January 2020 and have been remanded in custody for further investigations.  
 
The owner of the scrap metal dealership called the Booysens South African Police Service (SAPS) as he became suspicious that the copper the duo was allegedly trying to sell him could have been stolen given its value. The SAPS responded promptly and arrested the suspects who had the copper in their possession. 
 
The copper, which is now with the police, was stolen from an Eskom office in the south of Johannesburg. “The suspects gained entry to our premises by cutting the fence and subsequently overpowered and attacked the security personnel who were on duty at the time, fortunately no injuries were sustained. We wish to applaud the scrap metal dealership for his courage of acting against infrastructure theft,” said Motlhabane Ramashi, the Senior Manager for Maintenance and Operations in Gauteng.
 
Copper theft costs the economy between R5 and R7 billion a year and Eskom spends about R2 billion a year replacing stolen cables. Eskom continues to heighten security in hot spot areas across Gauteng as cable theft may lead to prolonged power outages and compromise the quality of supply, which affects businesses, essential services as well as the day-to-day lives of the society.
 
“We urge all those who may be aware of infrastructure theft to play a role in the fight against such serious crimes by sending their anonymous tip-offs to Crime Line on 32211.  We can all make a difference by preventing perpetrators of infrastructure and electricity theft from stealing by reporting them”, Ramashi concluded.  
 
 
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