Residents in the dark as cable thieves hit unsecured substations

One of the substations where cable theft took place has councillor Martin Williams appealing for security. Photo: Naidine Sibanda

Ward 90 residents have experienced a great deal of inconvenience due to their City Power substations being vulnerable to theft. The ward councillor, Martin Williams has called for security to be stepped up after a series of cable thefts and outages in Dunkeld West. Williams said the substation at the corner of Hume Road and Northumberland Avenue, in Hugh Wyndham Park, is particularly vulnerable.

“It has wooden doors. There is no fence. It is a soft target for cable thieves, who broke it open twice within three days last week,” he said.

“They are understandably upset. I have asked City Power urgently to install a security fence and steel doors. So far there has been a positive response but I should like to see this happening quickly.” Yet even that may not be enough, according to the councillor.

Also, in Dunkeld West, a steel-door substation behind locked gates, near the corner of Jan Smuts Avenue and Kent Road, was vandalised early on Saturday morning. Thieves stole 40m of cable, leaving many residents without power until it was restored on Sunday evening at 9pm as confirmed by Paul Sord, team leader at City Power, Randburg.

Williams said the situation was unacceptable. “Shortly before this latest round of break-ins, I asked City Power urgently to consider a suggestion made by security companies who offered to install alarm systems in substations. We need secure substations that are properly alarmed and patrolled.”

Inside the Hugh Wyndham substation after a break-in and power-cable theft.

He said that when he raised the issue last year, the idea was favourably received but it stalled over legal uncertainties about responsibility allocations but he was sure these questions could be resolved.

Williams appealed to Caxton readers: “If you live in Ward 90 and you think your local substation is not secured, please email [email protected] describing the exact address as well as a picture.”

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Related Article:

Unlocked substation attracts cable thieves

  AUTHOR
Naidine Sibanda

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