Residents and businesses around the Johannesburg CBD have been without electricity for the past week. This has been due to underground copper cable theft in the city. The cables were taken from underground tunnels running under the streets. Though it has not been said how many cables were stolen, The Johannesburg Metro Police’s Wayne Minnar says “It’s obviously people who know how to disconnect the cables and it’s people who know how to remove the cables because they remove it underground.” This has affected productivity in many businesses in the CBD. On Monday, a tip off let to the arrest of two scrap yard owners along with their staff after they were found in possession of the stolen cable sin their premises. Upon thorough investigation the officials found three drums fully loaded with the stolen copper cables. The stolen cable is estimated at the value of R15 million. It is also reported that one of the owners tried to offer a bribe of R10 000 to the city and Johannesburg Metro officials. Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said the theft of copper cables has caused over 45 percent of power outages in the city and has contributed to loss of productivity and income to many businesses in Johannesburg. City Power technicians have been trying to replace and repair the damaged cables and restore the electricity as soon as possible.
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