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Drones and micro-dotting proposed for fighting rampant copper theft

On Monday, Johannesburg executive mayor Mpho Phalatse said R26bn was needed to help fix City Power’s infrastructure, but the entire capital budget is R7.7bn, which includes not only electricity but other infrastructure such as water and roads. 

Environment and infrastructure services MMC Michael Sun added that load-shedding had cost the country between R60bn and R120bn across the country since it was implemented in February this year. 

In Johannesburg, cable theft and infrastructure sabotage adds to the municipal woes.

In her closing speech, Phalatse said that to illustrate, the extent of the problem, City Power had recorded 1,770 cable theft and vandalism incidents in the current financial year.

This cost City Power close to R23m in direct losses.

“These figures exclude indirect losses such as revenue lost to unserved energy, and the greater economic losses of private customers and businesses.

The city is working with Crime Intelligence and the Hawks who are co-ordinating at a local level with the group forensic investigative service working with the Joburg metro police.

“The JMPD is at an advanced stage of forming a specialised patrol unit that will focus on economic infrastructure and illegal mining,” Phalatse said.

TimesLIVE

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