DA calls for Special Council meeting to rescue Rustenburg from vandalism of electrical infrastructure

Issued by Cllr Luan Snyders – DA Councillor: Rustenburg Local Municipality
14 May 2024 in Press Statements

Note to Broadcasters: Please find linked soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Cllr Luan Snyders.

The Rustenburg Local Municipality is currently grappling with a severe crisis of vandalism targeting critical electrical infrastructure, particularly substations and mini substations. The recent sabotage was at the Noord and Munic Substations; this destructive trend has led to widespread power outages across Rustenburg and poses a significant threat to the essential services that the community relies on.

Hundreds of mini substations and power boxes across Rustenburg have been vandalized. Locks are broken, doors are removed, and the transformer oil is stolen. The theft of small pieces of cable, breakers, and scrap metal has become common. The municipality is struggling to manage this issue effectively due to limited resources and manpower.

The DA has written to the Speaker, Cllr L. Pule, requesting a Special Council meeting and that a comprehensive report be submitted to the Council. This report must include details on the total number of vandalized substations, cases reported to the South African Police Services (SAPS), financial costs incurred, security enhancements planned, and potential underlying causes of the vandalism surge. See letter here.

While temporary solutions like welding doors have been implemented, they have led to unintended consequences such as difficulties in meter readings and maintenance during power outages. Discussions on this matter have been held with key stakeholders, including the Executive Mayor, Cllr Shiela Mabale-Huma, Municipal Manager, Adv Ashmar Khuduge, and other senior management, to address the challenges faced.

Immediate action must be taken to safeguard the electrical infrastructure and ensure uninterrupted service delivery to the community.

We call for cooperation from residents to report any suspicious activities and urge authorities at all levels to address this nationwide issue. Vandalism of critical infrastructure is not just a local concern but a growing problem affecting communities across the country.

Fortunately, on 29 May this year, residents will have the opportunity to vote in a DA government, the only party with a proven track record of prioritising service delivery to communities.