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Eskom employees busted for conductor theft in ongoing sting operation
Thursday, 30 January 2020: Two Eskom employees, together with two foreign nationals employed by a scrap metal dealership in the far east of Johannesburg, have been arrested for alleged conductor theft. The four were arrested at the dealership on Wednesday, 29 January 2020 following a tip off and intensive internal investigations.
 
“Our employees were tracked to a scrap metal dealership in the far east of Johannesburg waiting in an Eskom truck loaded with aluminium conductor estimated at R468 000 and intended to be delivered to the scrapyard on Wednesday evening, 29 January 2020.  The South African Police Service (SAPS) was called and on arrival, a search was conducted and additional Eskom conductors were found inside the dealership. The police subsequently made arrests”, said Motlhabane Ramashi, the Senior Manager for Maintenance and Operations in Gauteng. The four suspects remain in custody and will answer for their actions in a court of law.
 
Eskom will also subject its employees to its internal disciplinary processes.  “We are disappointed and concerned that more of our own are implicated in alleged theft of our own material, but we will root out the rot even if it comes from within. This should send a strong signal to anyone involved in these illegal activities. Just a week ago, another employee was arrested in connection with a similar theft incident. The investigation was informed by our commitment to resource optimisation where we aim to ensure that our material is channelled to its intended purposes.  We will continue to heighten efforts to curb material losses and any criminal act by anyone, including our employees”, Ramashi added.   
 
Any material theft undermines Eskom’s ability to deliver on its service delivery mandate.  Eskom continues to heighten security in hot spot areas across Gauteng as cable and conductor theft may lead to prolonged power outages and compromises the quality of supply, which affects businesses, essential services, as well as the day-to-day lives of our society.
 
Ramashi commended the community for the tip offs that led to the arrests. The Senior Manager for Maintenance and Operations in Gauteng further urged all those who may be aware of any form of criminal acts by Eskom employees or anyone else, to take pictures of the crime and the involved vehicle registration numbers when it is safe to do so, and send an anonymous tip-off to Crime Line on 32211 or contact the Eskom Contact Centre on 0860037566. 
 
ENDS