SAnews.gov.za (Tshwane)

12 November 2012

South Africa: Cable Theft Disrupts Services in Pretoria

Pretoria — Telkom services in the Mountainview and Suiderberg areas in Pretoria have been disrupted following an incident of multiple cable theft in the Daspoort exchange area.

Over 1500 corporate and residential customers have been affected.

During the early hours of Friday morning, cable thieves cut and removed three major copper cables servicing the area.

The cable thieves gained access through two lockable manhole lids to remove 100 meters of a 1200 pair cable and 800 pair cable.

The thieves also cut a 1400 pair cable, but were only able to make off with 15 metres of the cable.

Customers with the exchange code 377 and 379 in the Mountainview and Suiderberg areas are affected.

"We apologise for the inconvenience brought on our customers by this crime and assure the community that the crime has been reported and a police investigation is currently underway," said Theo Hess, Telkom Managing Executive for Network Field Services.

"Telkom has deployed several teams over the weekend to restore affected services as soon as possible," he added.

According to Telkom, the services will be progressively restored until close of business on Friday, 16 November 2012.

Hess said in a bid to counter the scourge of copper cable theft, Telkom has adopted various interventions, which include:

* Proactively alarming critical and sensitive cable routes and employing services of armed security firms.

* Deploying various wireless technologies that are alternatives to copper.

* Assessing vulnerable aerial cable routes and, where feasible, these are buried underground.

* Working closely with the Non-Ferrous Theft Combating Committee (NFTCC) under the auspices of Business Against Crime and the South African Police Services, to jointly find ways of protecting our cable network.

This also includes implementing a national campaign to raise awareness of the Company's toll-free crime-report line (0800124000) as the co-operation and support of all communities is vital in tamping out cable theft.

All members of the public are urged to assist Telkom by making use of this number if they see any suspicious activities.

Affected customers do qualify for pro-rata rebates on their line rentals. Currently customers are advised to call our Billing Enquiries Service on 10210 to enquire about such rebates for the period during which their lines were non-functional.

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