A Western Cape teen has been sentenced to a hefty 12 years in prison for stealing almost 2km of copper cable in Robertson, police said on Sunday.
Spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said the 18-year-old had made off with 1 800m of copper cable belonging to Eskom last year.
It's removal had caused electricity interruptions in the area.
Rwexana said Rethabile Mxolisi was sentenced to 12 years in prison by the Robertson Magistrate's Court a week ago, in terms of the Criminal Amendment Act, for tampering with, damage to, and theft of essential infrastructure.
Acting Western Cape police commissioner Lieutenant General Sindile Mfazi said he considered the conviction and sentencing a deterrent to would-be cable thieves.
"Tampering, damage and theft of copper cable is a serious offence that impacts on essential services such as rail, telephone and electricity services. The economy of the country also suffers as a result of these offences," Mfazi was quoted as saying.