By Tanyaradzwa Rusike
Power utility – Zesa Holdings – has begun rolling out a massive security drive to protect its equipment from vandalism and theft, in a move that will see the introduction of 24-hour video surveillance, alarms, drones and phasing out of copper cables for aluminium wire.
This comes amid indications that electricity equipment worth $2,7 million has been vandalised so far this year compared to $3,7 million throughout 2018.
Criminals mostly target copper conductors, transformer windings and the oil. The power utility is moving in with electronic security gadgets to protect its equipment.
In an interview, Zesa Holding spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira said vandalism of electricity equipment was causing power supply interruptions.
“We have lost equipment worth about $2,8 million from the beginning of this year,” he said.
“The organisation is now investing in electronic surveillance system or intruder detection systems such as videofied alarms.
“Other electronic surveillance systems are being installed on distribution transformers and the organisation is also considering the use of drones.”
Mr Gwasira said the electricity company was now phasing out copper cables, which are most sought after by criminals.
“Copper is being replaced with aluminum which has a lower market value and it is not lucrative both locally and internationally,” he said.
“Vandalism and theft of electricity equipment has been retarding network expansion as we continuously replace materials which have been stolen rather than install it in new areas.”
The country continues to lose electricity equipment worth millions of dollars through vandalism and theft despite the crimes attracting a 10 year mandatory sentence. The Sunday Mail