Pretoria - A City of Tshwane security guard, 29, was gunned down on Tuesday morning by unknown people at Njala 132KV substation during a cable theft incident, resulting in power outages for residents in Pretoria east.
MMC for Utility Services Themba Fosi, who expressed condolences on behalf of the city to the bereaved family, described the shooting incident as unfortunate.
He said: ”This shows the amount of sporadic cable theft (and) vandalism of our infrastructure that is occurring across the city or to a greater extent South Africa.”
He said it was high time the national government made “the substations national key points so that they can be safely guarded and be able to supply stable electricity to our residents”.
Fosi added police were currently investigating the incident, saying more information concerning the guard’s untimely death would be shared at a later stage.
MMC for Utilities and Regional Operations, Daryl Johnston, who was also on site to assess the situation, said the authorities ought to make sure they prevented the scourge of cable theft from occurring.
“Our infrastructure is really under attack by nefarious elements that are stealing material that has a significant impact on the supply of services. And we will investigate further on how we can improve this going forward,” he said.
Municipal spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said a major unplanned outage at Njala substation caused electricity supply interruption to some of the metro’s eastern areas.
#Update MMC for Utility Services Themba Fosi is on the ground to assess the damage at Njala infeed substation. This follows an incident of cable theft which has resulted in the interruption of electricity supply to some eastern areas of the City. @CityTshwane pic.twitter.com/Y2vCh8Hh1d— Mayor Cilliers Brink (@tshwane_mayor) July 12, 2023
He said substations that get power from Njala substation were Watloo 1, Mamelodi 1,2,3, Wapadrand, Mooikloof, Koedoespoort and Heatherley.
Technicians from the City's Utility Services and Regional Operations Co-ordination Departments were hard at work repairing the substation.
Mashigo said: “The damage caused is huge and the rewiring of the band equipment will take a long time to repair. The city pleads for residents’ patience during this period. Estimated time of restoration is not yet available and residents will be kept updated on the developments. The city apologises profusely for this inconvenience.”