26/11/2012. Police look on at the nearly two tons of stolen aluminium cables recovered yesterday at a Hermanus scrapyard west of Pretoria. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi

Queenstown - Cable theft has interrupted emergency services in Queenstown, the Eastern Cape health department said on Friday.

“We have been flooded with complaints from the public, who could not reach our emergency services. We would like to indicate that this was caused by cable theft...” said spokesman Sizwe Kupelo.

He said on Thursday night that Telkom cables had been stolen in Queenstown, resulting in a total shutdown of emergency services in the area.

In December 600m of cable was stolen, which also resulted in a communication breakdown between the public and the emergency services.

“The public would call and the phone would ring with no one picking it up.”

Kupelo said the cables were used to connect the public when calling both the 10177 line and the 082112 line for emergency services.

The main affected units were Queenstown Emergency Services and Komani Psychiatric Hospital.

He said for emergency services the public should use 083-378-0631 and not the normal emergency numbers. - Sapa