'Cable thief' causes power outage

CHAOS: The body of an unidentified man is removed from the Roodepoort substation after the alleged cable thief was electrocuted. The entire Roodepoort area was left without power. PHOTO: BAFANA MAHLANGU
CHAOS: The body of an unidentified man is removed from the Roodepoort substation after the alleged cable thief was electrocuted. The entire Roodepoort area was left without power. PHOTO: BAFANA MAHLANGU

A MAN whose identity is still unknown, was electrocuted yesterday while allegedly trying to steal copper cable at City Power Johannesburg's Roodepoort substation.

City Power officials discovered the man's body and the tools he supposedly used to break into the substation.

The man had already removed two batteries and a copper cable before the fire broke out, causing damage of about R10-million, City Power said.

A second substation about 800m away was also affected, interrupting power supply in the Roodepoort area from about 7am yesterday morning.

City Power spokesman Sol Masolo said in a statement that protection cables were first stolen at the Roodetown substation, which left an area without power and caused a fire to break out when the attempted cable theft at the Roodepoort substation followed.

The two substations service the entire Roodepoort area. City Power's managing director Sello Xulu said cable theft has been a major problem in the area.

"We have structures in place with law enforcement agencies like SAPS and scrap yard owners to combat this type of crime," said Xulu.

Xulu said that power would be fully restored in at least 24 hours.

By 2pm power had been restored to areas like Allens Nek, Constantia Kloof, Honeydew, Kloofendal, Little Falls, Poortview and Strubens Valley, City Power said. - mahlanguba@sowetan.co.za

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