Telkom has often highlighted the negative impact of cable theft on its operations. The fixed line operator previously said that it lost around R863 million between 1 April 2007 and 31 January 2008 due to an alarming surge in copper cable theft.
"The increase in copper cable theft is creating an environment of a rapidly deteriorating service quality and is severely affecting the delivery of sustainable ICT services to customers. In many high-theft areas, cable is repeatedly stolen, sometimes within days after replacements or repairs,” Telkom said.
The latest incident of cable theft however does not involve Telkom’s copper infrastructure, but rather SEACOM’s terrestrial fibre infrastructure. Cable thieves removed newly laid fibre cabling at the SEACOM landing station in Mtunzini, setting the project back by as much as six months.
According to SEACOM’s operational manager Fredrik Loof the cable theft occurred on Sunday 29 March and caused significant damage to the Mtunzini landing station infrastructure.
Loof said that it is not clear whether the cable thieves mistook the fibre cables for copper cabling, but he pointed out that the damage caused by the thieves will take many weeks to repair.
Loof however reassured all parties that this event will not have any impact on deadlines associated with the SEACOM project in regions other than South Africa, and that the submarine cable will still land on South African shores at the planned dates.
For more details about the cable theft click here