Transnet records highest-ever theft of copper cable, JMPD arrests two suspects

8th March 2022

By: Donna Slater

Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer


Font size: - +

About 1 000 km of copper cable used to power electric locomotives has been stolen, to date, in the financial year ending on March 3, Transnet reports.

This is a significant increase on the 700 km of cable stolen in the 2020/21 financial year and the 395 km of cable stolen in the 2019/20 financial year.

Transnet has only been recording incidents of copper cable theft for the past three financial years.

To help secure its infrastructure, Transnet is spending R1.6-billion on security in the current financial year. It is spending a further R400-million on replacing stolen cables.

Over the past three years, 1 200 copper cable thieves have been arrested, resulting in 580 court cases, but convictions only total 40 as a result of court roll backlogs, Transnet reports.

Meanwhile, Transnet reports that two male suspects were arrested in Bramley, in Johannesburg, by the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) on March 5 for being in possession of stolen copper cables.

Working on a tip-off, the JMPD officers searched a property and discovered copper belonging to Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa with an estimated value of over R3-million.

When the two suspects failed to provide a valid explanation for how they acquired the copper they were immediately arrested, following which they attempted to bribe the officers with R10 000 in cash. This led to them being charged with damage to infrastructure, possession of stolen copper and bribery.

Both suspects appeared in court on March 7.

Transnet says that because it manages a rail network of 30 000 km, it is “virtually impossible” for it to guard the entire system.

Therefore, TFR appeals to the general public to assist it with tip-offs by contacting its crime-stop hotline at 0860 010 111, to report any suspicious activities near and around its rail network.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online



Showroom image
Alcohol Breathalysers

Supplier & Distributor of the Widest Range of Accurate & Easy-to-Use Alcohol Breathalysers

Booyco Electronics
Booyco Electronics

Booyco Electronics, South African pioneer of Proximity Detection Systems, offers safety solutions for underground and surface mining, quarrying,...


Latest Multimedia

sponsored by

Magazine round up | 24 May 2024
Magazine round up | 24 May 2024
24th May 2024

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?







sq:0.311 0.366s - 141pq - 3rq
Subscribe Now