The newly serviced Extension 5 in Omuthiya has fallen prey to the theft of copper cables from the power substation where thieves ransacked the power installation.
It is suspected the copper cables where stolen and sold at a scrap yard where demand for these cables seems high, and where scrap metal dealers buy cables no questions asked.
Around 23 kiosks out of 26 were damaged when the cables were cut off, including a mini substation where an earth cable and three steel bars were stolen. The damage the thieves caused will cost over N$300 000 to repair.
A kiosk is a power grid point fed by a substation, which supplies electricity to residential areas, and in this case each kiosk can supply nine houses.
At the time of the theft, the cables were not live, as they were not yet connected to NORED’s power grid.
“This is a loss to us as we have to repair the damaged things. So far we ordered material of up to N$150 000 and we are expecting another delivery of which the price will likely be high,” Metumo Shipanga of The Kongom Group emphasised at the site on Tuesday.
Shipanga said they had not yet connected the site to the live grid on completion due to financial hiccups as they had to pay NORED before the utility could connect them.
One person is believed to have been arrested and charged with illegal possession of copper wire. The police pounced on suspects for drug-related issues but later found the suspect with copper wires, and they arrested and charged them for that offence.
Warrant Officer Leonard Paulus confirmed the incident, but he was quick to add they were not certain at this stage whether the cables wires are those stolen from Extension 5.
“We are yet to bring the exhibit, which is now in Tsumeb, for comparison and verification in order to ascertain whether they are indeed the ones or not. When we arrested the suspect, this case of theft was not yet brought to our attention,” Paulus explained.