Africa-Press – South-Africa. The City of Tshwane has again fallen victim to cable theft at a substation.
A group of around 20, some armed, on Monday evening stormed the Heatherley substation in Mamelodi East.
According to the City, the security guard was held hostage at gunpoint, while at least nine medium voltage cables were stolen.
The damage to the substation resulted in a fire breaking out, which caused more damage.
“Following the outburst of flame at the substation, the emergency services department was activated to extinguish the fire. A team of technicians is onsite investigating the extent of the damage, with the view of effecting the necessary repairs,” the City said.
The attack happened during load shedding.
The mayor of Tshwane, Cilliers Brink, recently said that load shedding gave criminals a time period and an area, from which they could steal cables with almost no danger to themselves.
This was the second armed attack on a substation in recent months.
In July, a 29-year-old security guard at the Nyala substation was shot and killed when he stumbled across robbers stealing cables.
A case of murder, theft and vandalism was opened with police.
In the latest incident, the City has been scrambling to restore power to large parts of Pretoria East.
According to Tshwane’s MMC for Utilities and Operations, Themba Fosi, significant progress was made at the Heatherley substation.
“Following our assessment, I am pleased to have noted that substantial progress has been made in restoring power to the affected areas. The work completed thus far includes the critical task of panel cleaning, which was necessary to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the substation,” Fosi said.
“There are still outstanding tasks that need to be addressed to fully restore the power supply to all the affected areas. These include the termination of cable work and pressure testing all feeder cables and bars.
“We want to assure the community that we are working tirelessly to expedite the remaining tasks and restore power as soon as possible.”