Tech to stop theft of streetlight timers

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Criminals have been vandalising street lamps across Johannesburg.
Criminals have been vandalising street lamps across Johannesburg.

Following damage and vandalism of timing devices on streetlights across Johannesburg, City Power says it is looking at developing technology solutions to prevent such incidents in the future.

City Power makes use of timing devices to switch streetlights on and off; however, in the past few months, these timers have been deliberately damaged or stolen.

The power utility says theft and damage to the timers worsens the power shortages, as daytime illuminating streetlights apply unnecessary pressure on the grid that is already constrained. The timing devices end up being used by criminal syndicates for illegal connections, says City Power.

City Power MD Sicelo Xulu says the power utility is looking at tech solutions to prevent theft of the timers and other electricity infrastructure. However, Xulu does not provide the specifics of the technology solutions City Power is considering.

"These criminal acts hamper our efforts at providing quality service to the residents of Johannesburg and are costing the law-abiding ratepayers dearly. The theft and vandalism of public lighting infrastructure is not a victimless crime, but is an act of economic sabotage against the law-abiding ratepayers of Johannesburg," he says.

City Power says Johannesburg residents can report criminal and illegal connections at their nearest police station, or call the toll-free helpline number 0800 00 251 or 011 490 7553.

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