Telkom sabotage causes outages impacting thousands of users

Telkom said that by 19 August, approximately 13,200 Telkom customers had been hit by outages caused by sabotage.

This happened as the Communication Workers Union strike against Telkom moved into its fourth week.

“A total of 85 street distribution cabinets (SDCs) have been damaged in the past five days. Many of these SDCs have either been fully repaired or are partially repaired,” said Telkom spokesperson Jacqui O’Sullivan.

“In areas where the work is still underway, the technicians are bringing streets back online as they complete the repairs.”

O’Sullivan said Telkom’s teams will continue to work until service to all affected customers is restored.

“While less than 870 CWU members were on strike on Friday, this thuggish behaviour has now had a significant impact on many residential and business customers.”

Contempt of court application

On Friday morning, Telkom brought a contempt of court application against eight CWU members who defied an interdict by the Labour Court.

The interdict prohibits CWU members from blockading Telkom entrances and exits, intimidating working employees, and damaging Telkom facilities and equipment.

Telkom is seeking the prosecution of CWU members who defied the court order.

Violence and intimidation

Last week, a CWU protester threw a brick at the car window of a non-striking employee as they were leaving a Telkom facility in Randburg. The protester was arrested.

On Thursday in the Western Cape, a number of non-striking technicians were sent threatening texts in an attempt to get them to join the strike.

“These incidents are examples of ongoing acts of intimidation by the CWU and the spike in sabotage is related to this industrial action,” said O’Sullivan.

“These are not random acts of vandalism or incidents of cable theft. These people know where to go and what to do to wreak maximum damage. This is in-house.”

No Work No Pay implemented

Telkom is applying the “No Work No Pay rule” to all striking employees.

“Those who have been striking consistently since 1 August have been informed they will not be paid on the 25th of this month as a manual verification to check whether they actually worked any days in August is required,” said O’Sullivan.

Telkom said it will pay any days owing to them for August by 7 September.

Reward of R500,000

Last week, Telkom also announced a R500,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the saboteurs.

Anyone with information on these crimes can contact the Telkom crime line on 0800 124 000.

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Telkom sabotage causes outages impacting thousands of users