Cable Theft on Rise during Lockdown

With the widespread stay-at-home regulation, there has been a massive surge in cable theft on Metrorail lines in Soweto and surrounds. The nationwide lockdown has provided a golden opportunity for cable thieves to pounce as the number of cable theft and vandalism crimes spiked, according to reports.
This type of crime is recorded as being committed by people who see it as a way of making quick cash. It is also alleged that there are syndicates who operate in conjunction with unscrupulous scrap yard dealers. Tens of thousands of South Africans make use of trains as their only mode of transport. The theft of essential infrastructure has put a financial strain on the already ailing Prasa rail agency.
Nearby residents in Dube next to the rail lines, mentioned that the rail company needs to find an alternative plan and employ security personnel at their stations. The cables are exposed to passers by accorss the rails, oblivious of the looming potential danger.Resident Mothwa Hlubi who is also a train commuter mentioned that most of the theft acts occur during broad day light. “This trend of stealing cables affects every citizen in our country; therefore, we need to help Prasa deal with this disturbing issue.” added Hlubi.
With train services expected to be reinstated on a gradual roll-out over the next two months, severe delays can be expected and train commuters might be forced to use alternative modes of transport.
Public awareness is also a fundamental key in preventing cable theft from occurring unabated, and residents must be on the lookout for any suspicious activity and report it immediately to the relevant authorities.
Thapelo Magola Soweto Sunrise News

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