A Durban community is urging residents to ask contractors working on telephone and internet cables in the area for their company identifications and credentials after they were left without phone lines and internet connections after their cables were chopped upFile image
Durban - A central Durban community is urging residents to ask contractors working on telephone and internet cables in the area for their company identifications and credentials after they were left without phone lines and internet connections after their cables were chopped up.

The Manor Gardens community believes that a cable theft syndicate is operating in the Durban area after their cables were cut and left in the ground for a possible pick-up later on by the thieves.

They suspect the thieves may be masquerading as legal contractors.

“They park their bakkie and they are in the ground so we don’t know what exactly is going on. It doesn’t take a lot of time to just stop and check on the workers to make sure they are legit,” said a resident.

Hylton Dettmer, a member of the Manor Gardens Community Watch, told The Mercury that the cables in the area were cut up in four places, but they remained in the ground last week.

The suburb has been without telephone and ADSL lines since last Monday.

Dettmer said the connections were slowly returning to each household sinceTuesday.

“There is definitely a similar pattern that is taking place across the city. It looks like these cables were cut and bundled and made ready for pick up at a later stage.

“People living in the areas need to start taking responsibility and check on those working in the area,” he said.

Dettmer said they reported the lost connectivity to Telkom last week, but the contractors only attended to the matter last Friday.

Karen Hulley, also from Manor Gardens, said she was affected by damaged cables and was left without telephone and ADSL lines since last Monday.

Her lines were restored this Monday.

“This is especially frustrating for home-based business people who had no access to telephone lines, internet and emails.

“It also poses a security threat for those elderly people at home who have no way of communication without their landlines,” Hulley said.

A resident from the Bluff, south of Durban, said they had been without telephones lines since July 24 and had been given the run-around by Telkom.

The resident, who did not want to be named, said they received numerous reference numbers without any further update.

Telkom said they could only respond to specific incidents that were logged with reference numbers.

But it failed to respond by the time of publication to the Bluff incident, where a reference number was sent to them.

The Mercury