The FF Plus in the Free State has asked the ministers of police and co-operative government to intervene urgently in the growing crisis of cable theft in the province.
This comes amid an increase in cable theft, as well as other theft of municipal infrastructure.
Just last week, about one ton of copper cables was seized at a scrap metal dealer in Bloemfontein.
FF Plus LV’s Déwar Smit congratulated the police on this successful action.
He said the FF Plus urgently intervened to prevent any electricity supply delays due to cable theft.
Smit says it is unacceptable that the problem is only addressed once the cables have been stolen.
The residents of the Mangaung metro and its power supplier, Centlec, are increasingly disturbed by cable theft.
Smit also says in the Matjhabeng municipality, which serves the Goldfields, residents are also left without electricity due to cable theft without electricity.
Bokvel Pietersen, security chief of the municipality, says no one is taking the crisis in Matjhabeng seriously.
Pietersen says a cable was cut off brightly in Flamingo Park, Welkom, on Tuesday.
No cables were immediately available to repair the power supply.
He said the municipality no longer had cables in stock and it was becoming increasingly difficult to repair or replace cables.
Pietersen believes sabotage plays a big role in the problems.
“Some of the cables are stolen so that certain suppliers can deliver cables to the municipality and that contractors can get work from the municipality,” he says.
Pietersen said the municipality suffered almost R300 million in losses over the past year.
In just one incident, R186m damage was done to a substation.
Pietersen says the only positive thing is that 41 people have recently been arrested in connection with theft of municipal property.
Smit says economic growth in South Africa is hampered by ongoing load shedding. Residents of the Free State cannot be harmed further by criminal acts.
The FF Plus demands greater police presence and urgent intervention to prevent cable theft.