Two Hanover Park women were arrested on Friday after they were found in possession of 50 metres of Prasa cable.
The arrest was made after the City of Cape Town’s Metal Theft and Rail Enforcement Units responded to a tip-off that led them to a house in Hanover Park.
Upon arrival, two men instantly fled the scene. Officers then discovered 50 metres of Prasa cable and arrested two women who were in the house for possession of stolen property.
According to the South African Police Services (SAPS) cable thieves mainly target mines, Transnet, Telkom, Eskom and municipalities.
Copper cables are stolen in the hopes of making quick money, while some thieves work in conjunction with unethical scrap yard dealers.
Cable theft is reportedly costing the economy between R5 billion and R7 billion every year.
Metrorail loses close to R70 million each year to cable theft as delayed and cancelled trains leads to lower productivity and job losses.
Cable theft offenders face a minimum sentence of three years- for first-time offenders. For those involved in instigating or causing damage to infrastructure, the maximum sentence is 30 years.