- Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula recently visited an illicit operation stealing PRASA cabling
- The politician was shocked to see the intricate system that allowed criminals to export copper after melting it down
- With this kind of crime causing millions in damage on an annual basis, Mbalula wants to end the cycle
Fikile Mbalula recently carried out a site inspection of a criminal syndicate stealing cables from PRASA.
The Transport Minister wants to end the phenomenon that cost the entity R364 million last year:
"We must work with our colleagues in the criminal justice system to characterize the burning of trains and cable theft as economic sabotage. We warn people against these and other crimes, urge communities to take ownership of their government services and lead efforts to protect them."
During the site visit, Mbalula learned that the copper cables were being melted down into blocks which in turn were exported out of the country.
These blocks are expected to fetch around R90 000 each on the black market, a lucrative deal for criminals brave enough to carry out the process.
In a statement released following the visit, the department revealed one of the suspects behind this operation was a PRASA employee a sign of the rot in the state-owned entity.
Mbalula is set to attend the court proceedings of the suspects involved in the matter on Monday.
Briefly.co.za reported that Mbalula had been sticking up for President Cyril Ramaphosa recently, as pressure on the leader increases in the lead-up to the State of the Nation Address this week.
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