File picture.

JOHANNESBURG - An investigation team from Eskom recovered stolen Eskom infrastructure worth R5 million, the power utility said on Friday.

One person was arrested when the team and members of the SA Police Service made the discovery of the infrastructure, which included aluminium and copper cables, in Muldersdrift, Johannesburg, Eskom said in a statement.

Eskom's divisional executive for security, Tebogo Rakau, said the find pointed to the "organised, syndicate-driven" nature of  the crime.

Rakau said Eskom spends around R2 billion a year replacing stolen copper cables. 

"It might seem like the only victims of cable theft are organisations like Eskom and municipalities who have to bear the cost of replacing stolen cable and damaged infrastructure. But the effects suffered by society can be even worse, including prolonged power outages which impact businesses, and ultimately lead to job losses," he said.

"Unplanned power outages resulting from cable theft also affect healthcare services at clinics and endanger the lives of people who are on life support equipment at home."

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African News Agency (ANA)