The Drakenstein Municipality has welcomed the harsh sentences, handed down to suspects found guilty of the theft of copper cabling.

The municipality says it is serious about fighting the scourge of cable and copper theft and Alderman Conrad Poole, Executive Mayor, has welcomed the recent conviction and harsh sentences of four cable thieves.

In the first case, three men were convicted for the theft of streetlight cables and other items in the Wellington Magistrate’s Court.

Each one received a sentence of 15 years imprisonment of which three years were suspended for five years.

In another case, in the Paarl Regional Court, one person was found guilty on two charges.

In the first case, he was arrested for stealing wiring and in the second he was tried on a charge of theft of copper cabling.

The suspect received a sentence of 12 years imprisonment on the first charge and six years on the second, of which three years were suspended.

The Drakenstein Municipality’s Manager of Communication, Riana Geldenhuys says during the investigation the Municipality’s Electro-Technical Services division worked closely with the South African Police Service and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development by giving the court an overview of critical infrastructure and cable theft, the damage it causes, the impact on communities, and statistics of incidents.

Geldenhuys says the sentences are a victory for Drakenstein Municipality.

During the 2020/21 financial year, the Municipality suffered losses of over R5 million to replace infrastructure due to cable theft.

Geldenhuys says cable theft has an impact on the delivery of crucial services, primarily the provision of electricity, and telephonic and Internet services.

Te Municipality urges Drakenstein’s residents to report any suspicious activity relating to cable theft to its 24/7 control room at 021 807 8508, or to SAPS.

Anonymous tip-offs are also welcomed and can be sent to the Municipality at 021 807 8508 or 080 131 3553 toll free.

Read the Municipality’s full statement here.

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