• Down to the wire

    An increase in copper cable theft in South Africa is placing an enormous financial strain on government

    Down to the wire

    Very few areas in Africa remain untouched when it comes to copper cable theft. It affects electricity supplies, water supplies, telecommunications, rail transportation, and comes with a hefty price tag.

    A small farming community in South Africa’s Cape Town is an example of this. The area Schaapkraal, which is known as a copper cable theft hotspot, costs local government ZAR800 000 on average per month to repair electricity infrastructure. In fact, technicians are called out to the area on a near-daily basis, spending up to six hours at a time carrying out repairs, according to a Business Tech report.

    This is, however, just one part of a much bigger problem being experienced across the country. Statistics released by the City of Cape Town’s Metals Theft Unit shows that copper theft increased by 26% last year and costs South Africa roughly ZAR5 billion a year.

    15 September 2015
    Image: IstockPhoto