A security guard who tried to stop cables from being stolen at the Njala 132KV substation in Tshwane was shot dead by the thugs.
The theft of the cables plunged thousands of residents of Pretoria into darkness.
Themba Fosi, mayoral committee member for utilities at the Tshwane metro, confirmed on Wednesday that a 29-year-old guard died at this substation.
It is understood that there was a shootout between the guard and the cable thieves before they got away with about 100 m of cables.
“The police are investigating the case further and will release more information about the incident in due course,” says Fosi.
On behalf of the city, he expressed his deepest condolences to the victim’s loved ones.
The cables were robbed early on Wednesday morning and meant that large parts of Tshwane, especially the east of Pretoria, are without power. Given the massive damage done, repairs are likely to take some time.
The incident highlights just how big the problem with cable theft and the damage to essential infrastructure is in Tshwane – and also nationwide.
“It is high time that our government makes substations national key points so that they can be secured to provide continuous power to communities,” says Fosi.
#Update MMC for Utility Services Themba Fosi is on the ground to assess the damage at Njala infeed substation. This follows an incident of cable theft which has resulted in the interruption of electricity supply to some eastern areas of the City. @CityTshwane pic.twitter.com/Y2vCh8Hh1d
— Mayor Cilliers Brink (@tshwane_mayor) July 12, 2023