Security measures will be implemented to curb the sabotage of electrical equipment for copper cabling that is subsequently sold to scrap metal dealers.
The wanton destruction of electrical installations along national roads in KwaZulu-Natal by cable thieves has led to the South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) putting in place intelligent monitoring systems.
Millions of Rands worth of transformers, electrical distribution boxes and street light poles have been destroyed by vandals, causing inconvenience for motorists as well as pedestrians at night.
Zakhele Mthethwa, Electrical Project Manager at SANRAL’s Eastern Region, said SANRAL was committed to ensuring the safety of motorists and pedestrians.
Hence, a range of security measures will be implemented to curb the sabotage of electrical equipment for copper cabling that is subsequently sold to scrap metal dealers.
Sensors will be placed in transformers and electrical distribution boxes to pick up any unusual vibration such as when somebody is trying to get unauthorized access.
The sensors will send a signal to the Traffic Management Centre (TMC) in Pietermaritzburg where dedicated staff will be monitoring the lighting equipment.
Security personnel will be dispatched to the site to apprehend the thieves who will be handed over to the police.
Mthethwa said sensors will be rolled out initially to safeguard the electrical equipment at Umgeni Road/ M19 Intersection which has 242 light poles, and the freeway between Umdloti Interchange and Tongaat Town Plaza which has 582 light poles.
Vandal-proof light poles will replace those that were cut down by cable thieves. Closed-circuit television cameras will also be installed, and these will be monitored around the clock at the TMC to apprehend vandals.
It is estimated the security features at Umgeni Road/ M19 Intersection and the freeway between Umdloti Interchange and Tongaat Town Plaza will cost about R15-million.