Restoration of stolen underground cables has been completed in the Johannesburg inner city. Picture: City of Johannesburg

Johannesburg - More than a week after thieves stole underground electricity cables power has been fully restored in the inner city, the City of Johannesburg said on Thursday morning.  
"Yesterday (on Wednesday) afternoon I conducted a site visit to the Inner City Restoration Centre, and I am happy to announce that as of this morning, 100% of power has been restored after cable theft plunged parts of the inner city into darkness for 11 days," said Cllr Ntombi Khumalo, the acting MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services Department.

Many businesses in the city have been badly affected by the power outage and the restoration will be a welcome relief.
Khumalo said toxic chemicals and fire prevented City Power officials from immediately entering the narrow, 9km long tunnel to restore power, and only at around 22:00 on Tuesday, City Power technicians were able to restore electricity supply to affected areas.

Picture: City of Johannesburg

"Unfortunately, electricity tripped during the restoration period, and Rahima Moosa (Jeppe) Street, Plein Street, Pritchard Street, Kerk Street and Lillian Ngoyi (Bree) Street were affected again. By yesterday, only a small portion of Plein Street was still down, and by this morning all power has been restored," said Khumalo.
"We condemn the vandalism and theft of City Infrastructure by these organised copper cable syndicates, and we call upon the general public to be vigilant and report all suspicious activities to 0860 562 874."
Law enforcement agencies have been put on high alert to tackle cable theft.

"Our specialised Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department unit whose exclusive focus will be to target these syndicates who deal in in stolen copper cables will also ensure that a professionalised approach is taken to ensure perpetrators are held to account," said Khumalo.
"I would like to thank the officials and contractors from City Power for their commitment under very challenging conditions, and our sincere gratitude goes to all affected residents and businesses owners who bared with us while our officials worked around the clock to undo the unscrupulous work of criminals."
African News Agency