Telecom Namibia concerned about cable theft

WINDHOEK: Telecom Namibia (TN) has recorded over 20 incidents of criminals targeting underground and aerial cables this year in Windhoek, Omaruru, Usakos, Karibib, Oshakati, Otjiwarongo and Keetmanshoop.

The telecommunications service provider said in a media statement issued on Monday it is concerned about the growing incidents of cable theft from and vandalism of network infrastructure all over the country.

Telecom’s Senior Manager for Corporate Communications and Public Relations, Oiva Angula was quoted in the statement as saying Windhoek was most affected by the criminal activity, with residential areas such as Hakahana, Ombili, Okuryangava, Grysblok and Wanaheda affected.

In June this year, several incidences were recorded where copper cables were cut in the areas of Wanaheda, Rocky Crest, Brakwater and Havana.

Thieves are said to have opened manholes at different points, and they would cut and steal the cables.

“Criminals are causing massive damage to TN networks through copper theft and sheer vandalism, resulting in downtime for customers and costing the company millions,” Angula said.

He added that in two incidents in July this year, criminals cut down and carried away 15 poles carrying the aerial fibre optic cable near the Omatjete village, west of Omaruru in the Erongo Region.

The theft and vandalism also results in repair costs, loss of revenue, security costs, an increase in customer complaints, and network quality concerns for Telecom Namibia.

Telecom is offering cash rewards of up to N.dollars 20 000 for information which could lead to the arrest and conviction of any person or persons responsible for committing crimes of vandalism or theft on the TN network, Angula said.