Vumatel has reportedly stopped work in KwaZulu-Natal due to intimidation and threats against workers.
A MyBroadband reader who lives in Pinetown, who is waiting for fibre in his area, said he received an email from Vumatel stating that work in the province had been suspended.
“Please note that Vumatel’s contractors have been forced to put a temporary stop to all work on site with immediate effect,” stated the email shown to MyBroadband.
“Due to incidents of intimidation and threats made by various groups in KwaZulu-Natal, it is not safe or practical for the contractors to continue working in the field at the moment.”
“This means that until the issues have been resolved, the contractors will be unable to attend to civil work or reinstatements. Vumatel is working very hard with the contractors to ensure that work can commence as soon as possible.”
Vumatel was asked for comment on the matter, but it did not reply to questions by the time of publication.
Fibre installers targeted
In May 2017, the FTTH Council Africa stated that criminals are increasingly targeting fibre installers in South Africa.
Contractors are being robbed at gunpoint, hijacked, and taken hostage, it said.
A primary reason for this is that there is a big market for second-hand fibre equipment, Council CEO Juanita Clark told MyBroadband.
It is not clear if the matter in KwaZulu-Natal is related to criminal elements, however.