Pretoria - Parts of Pretoria east were plunged into darkness on Monday after a group of 20 men stormed Heatherly substation, held security personnel hostage at gunpoint, and stole power cables.
City of Tshwane Utility Services MMC, Themba Fosi, said the substation was burnt and there was considerable damage to a number of panels as a result of the cable theft.
Yesterday, he told residents the city’s electricity department employees were working hard to repair damages.
He assured residents that power would most likely be restored by the end of the day.
Fosi strongly condemned acts of vandalism and cable theft, and pleaded with residents to be vigilant and protect their infrastructure from criminals.
He noted that in many instances the city’s infrastructure was damaged and vandalised during load shedding.
“Where there is load shedding, please be on the lookout, and if you see something untoward please inform the SAPS or Tshwane Metro Police so we can curb sporadic vandalism and cable theft on our infrastructure,” Fosi said.
Municipal spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said about 20 individuals stormed the substation during the two hours of load shedding in the area and held security personnel at gunpoint.
“At least nine medium voltage cables were stolen and the substation vandalised and that resulted in a fire,” he said.
“The Emergency Services Department was activated to extinguish the fire. A team of technicians was dispatched to investigate the damage with the view of effecting repairs.
“The City of Tshwane urges members of the community to report any suspicious activities to the Tshwane Metro Police Department 24-hour line on 012 358 7095/6 or cable theft hotline on 080 011 2722.”