‘Tik-koppe’ blamed for power out­ages

The New Age (Western Cape) - - Western Cape News - MPUMI KIVA prov­inces@the­newage.co.za

COM­MU­NITY mem­bers in Smar­tie Town and other ar­eas of the West­bank are blam­ing drug ad­dicts for the con­tin­u­ous power out­ages in Oudt­shoorn.

Res­i­dents in the West­bank ar­eas claimed that van­dal­ism and ca­ble theft from the lo­cal main power sta­tions were mak­ing life dif­fi­cult for them as they some­times have to spend hours in the dark.

The com­mu­nity said drug ad­dicts were steal­ing cop­per ca­bles and sell­ing them to the lo­cal scrap yards to feed their drug habits. Res­i­dents are now call­ing on the po­lice and the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to in­ter­vene as fre­quent blacks-outs dis­turbed their liveli­hood.

“The prob­lem is the ‘tik-koppe’ who are steal­ing the ca­bles caus­ing hours of elec­tric­ity out­ages,” a res­i­dent in West­bank, Mag­da­lene Wind­vo­gel, said.

“Most of the lo­cal power sub sta­tions are van­dalised. ‘Tik-koppe’ steal the ca­bles and just leave the elec­tri­cal boxes un­locked, ex­pos­ing our kids to dan­ger.

“We spend hours without elec­tric­ity be­cause of the drug­gies.’’

Greater Oudt­shoorn mu­nic­i­pal­ity spokesper­son Nto­beko Mangqwengqwe said ca­ble theft in the neigh­bour­hoods re­sulted in power black­outs.

“This in some cases was due to dam­aged poles and fallen trees af­ter thun­der­storms.

“Elec­tri­cians are out there to at­tend to the prob­lem,” Mangqwengqwe said.

An­other res­i­dent com­plained that this was a se­ri­ous prob­lem and ap­pealed to the au­thor­i­ties to at­tend to it.

“I use power all the time be­cause I sell wood and when I have to chop it by hand this makes my work dif­fi­cult when the elec­tric­ity is off.

“We wish this prob­lem could be at­tended to ur­gently.”

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