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Cable theft a nightmare

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A nearby resident in Cassandra claimed that this was the sixth time this month that the cable had been stolen from exactly the same place in Hull Street

ONGOING cable theft has become a nightmare in Hull Street and the suburb of Cassandra which is costing the already cash-strapped Sol Plaatje Municipality financially, while residents and businesses have also been suffering.

The Gum Tree Lodge in particular was hit hard last week when it suffered close to 72 hours without power due to cable theft.

Twenty-five metres of MV cable was stolen on Tuesday night. The cable was replaced on Thursday, but was once again stolen that evening. The electricity was only reinstated on Friday night after the new cable was installed.

A nearby resident in Cassandra claimed that this was the sixth time this month that the cable had been stolen from exactly the same place in Hull Street .

According to the manager of Gum Tree Lodge, Petro Woodley, “the municipality came up with a new plan of using a different type of cable that does not have any copper inside as a measure to curb these repeated incidents”.

She said that the cable that was stolen on Thursday evening does not have any value and the thieves will only realise this afterwards.

According to Woodley, the lodge has been suffering financial losses due to the repeated incidents. She said that food had to be thrown away and that they stood the risk of having to cancel some of their events

“We have eight permanent residents who suffer due to us not having a big enough generator. We are now also afraid of buying in bulk or of planning ahead,” a frustrated Woodley said.

The Sol Plaatje Municipality has acknowledged the various cable theft incidents in the area.

Municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie added that cable theft is also affecting Cassandra.

He said that the Diamond Oval cricket stadium could have been without power if more incidents had taken place.

This would have disrupted the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup. The Kimberley leg of the tournament concluded yesterday.

“We have already asked the police to assist while we also continue with regular patrols,” concluded Matsie.