Pretoria - The people of Zithobeni showed courage and good citizenry when they busted three men who were allegedly stealing a mini-substation transformer in Bronkhorstspruit.
This is according to Tshwane MMC for Utility Services and Regional Operations Daryl Johnston, who thanked the community for taking a firm stand against theft of critical infrastructure.
Johnston has complained in recent weeks about the series of attacks on the City’s infrastructure, particularly vandalism, theft and sabotage.
The City has said there might be a group of people deliberately damaging infrastructure to place the metro under pressure and deny the people service delivery.
Johnston referred to damage to substations in Soshanguve and Bronkhorstspruit and attacks on staff who switched off electricity to some areas to prevent damage to infrastructure during load shedding.
“The City of Tshwane would like to acknowledge and express gratitude to Zithobeni residents for their intervention to prevent the theft of a local mini-substation transformer.
“The community also assisted in the identification and arrest of three suspects who were allegedly involved in the incident.
“The incident took place on Friday in the early hours of the morning. Community members noticed and prevented the attempted theft of the mini-substation transformer in Malinda Street.”
According to the police, two of the three suspects are out on bail after appearing in court and the third is still in custody.
“I want to thank the Zithobeni community for leading by example to prevent the destruction of critical infrastructure that is meant to serve their community.
“We have consistently called on communities to work with the City to prevent attacks on our infrastructure, and it is very pleasing to see this actually happening.
“Vandalism and theft of critical infrastructure affects everyone and, therefore, it is important that we all work together within the ambit of the law to stop criminals from destroying community infrastructure.
“Tampering, vandalism and theft of critical infrastructure will never be tolerated. By working with our communities and law enforcement authorities we will ensure that we go after these criminals and institute legal action against them,” Johnston added.
Resident Colin Donian said: “People power at work. This is how a family, a community, a business and a country turns things round, fixes things, puts the brakes on incompetence, corruption and indifference. Well done, fellow citizens.”
Peter Blue said: “Good work by the local community. However, it appears that most of the electrical equipment has already been removed. Significant cost to repair or replace.”
Lebogang Maduma said it was great work to stop criminals in their tracks but the City should consider a programme to fence all transformers and place extra security at all of its facilities because criminals would not stop.