Telkom’s customers in Bromhof, Johannesburg, and surrounding areas have become the latest victims of cable theft, which has led to the disruption of services of over 2000 corporate and residential customers.
Telkom said in a press statement that on Sunday, 13 May, cable thieves broke through a concrete manhole roof and locked covering to steal Telkom’s underground cable infrastructure. Telkom has reported the crime and a police investigation is currently underway.
The following suburbs in the Bromhof area, with the exchange code 791, have been affected by this theft: Fontainebleau; Rand Park; Rand Park extension 2; Rand Park extension 3; Rand Park extension 10; Robindale; Robindale Hills; Malanshof; Malanshof extension 5.
“We apologise to our customers who have been affected by this crime. Telkom has commenced the restoration process and we will work around the clock to restore these services. The services will be restored progressively until the end of the week,” explained Theo Hess, Telkom Managing Executive for Network Field Services.
“Telkom and its customers are heavily impacted by the deliberate cycle of cable theft. This is damaging businesses, depriving our customers of a basic service and, in some cases, adversely affecting their security. Of course this is affecting our capacity to deliver services within acceptable time intervals,” he added.
In their efforts to counter the scourge of copper cable theft, explained Hess, Telkom has adopted various interventions, which include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Proactively alarming critical and sensitive cable routes and employing services of armed security firms;
- Deploying wireless technologies that are alternatives to copper;
- Assessing vulnerable aerial cable routes and, where feasible, these are buried underground;
- Working closely with the Non-Ferrous Theft Combating Committee (NFTCC) under the auspices of Business Against Crime and the South African Police Services, to jointly find ways of protecting our cable network;
- Implementing a national campaign to raise awareness of the Company’s toll-free crime-report line (0800124000) as the co-operation and support of all communities is vital in stamping out cable theft. All members of the public are urged to assist Telkom by making use of this number if they see any suspicious activities.
“Affected customers do qualify for pro-rata rebates on their line rentals. Currently, customers are advised to call our Billing Enquiries Service on 10210 to enquire about such rebates for the period during which their lines were non-functional. Ordinarily, once an account of a service is linked to a bulk-fault, the credit is automatically passed to the customer,” Telkom concluded.