The city of Tshwane has bought 103 Ford Ranger bakkies to be on 24 hour patrol at various electricity substations in the the City. Picture: Sakhile Ndlazi

A fleet of 103 off road vehicles have been unveiled as part of the City of Tshwane’s fight against cable theft. 

The vehicles will be on 24 hour patrol at various electricity substations in the the City.

In addition to those vehicles, an extra 1000 security guards will also be deployed to substations around the City.

The City had to fork out R30 million for the vehicles.

Mayor Solly Msimanga said during the unveiling that they opted for off road vehicle bakkies which are Ford Rangers because criminals were going into places that were “small” or where normal vehicles can’t reach. 

“The criminals are getting cleverer and we are getting even more smarter,” said Msimanga.

He said the sporadic cable theft which cost the City R200 million each year, was responsible for the City not attracting foreign investment. 

“Cable theft causes power outages which in turn hurts businesses.”

Tshwane executive mayor Solly Msimanga talks about the new fight against cable theft. Video: Sakhile Ndlazi

 

Other cable combat equipment included night vision glasses, two way police radios, and trackers.

Previously members of the Tshwane Metro Police were using maintenance and electricity vehicles to conduct their operations, which according to their spokesperson Senior Superindent Isaac Mahamba was detrimental. 

“We are happy that we’ve received these vehicles because they going to allow us to do our job efficiently,” he said.

As in many other parts of the country, cable theft is not new, but lately it has reached an unprecedented scale, especially in Pretoria.
It is estimated that nearly half of the power outages in the city are caused by cable theft.
 
Several areas across the city have reported sporadic power outages over the past few months. 

More recently, suburbs in the east of Pretoria suffered the wrath, after being in the dark for a week, largely paralysing some businesses. 

This comes after a substation in Wapadrand was engulfed in flames, costing the City R60 million to repair.