Urgent Call for Public Vigilance and Stricter Laws to Combat Copper Cable Theft
In recent months, Telecom Namibia has been plagued by a series of copper cable theft incidents in various areas across the country. These acts of vandalism and theft have resulted in service interruptions for customers. Telecom Namibia is urging the public to report any suspicious activities near their telecommunications infrastructure to the Namibian Police or the nearest Telecom Namibia office. This article highlights the steps Telecom Namibia is taking to address this issue and emphasizes the importance of public awareness and cooperation.
The Impact of Cable Theft
The theft of copper cables and other ICT infrastructure not only affects Telecom Namibia’s operations but also hampers the government’s efforts to bridge the digital divide and provide ICT access to all Namibians. The funds allocated for network expansion are redirected to replace stolen infrastructure, leading to increased network maintenance costs. Furthermore, revenue losses and customer frustration due to interrupted services have a detrimental effect on the company. Repairing damaged infrastructure also diverts technical teams from attending to new installations and fault repairs.
Recent Incidents of Cable Theft:
In the past two months, Telecom Namibia has been hit by a series of cable theft incidents in various areas across the country. These incidents have caused significant disruptions to the company’s services and have had a direct impact on customers. The following areas have been particularly affected:
- Hochland Park, Windhoek
- Western Business Area, Katima Mulilo
- Khomasdal, Windhoek
- Veddersdal, Okahandja
- Suiderhof, Windhoek
Telecom Namibia is actively working to address these incidents and restore services to the affected areas. However, the company emphasizes the need for public vigilance and cooperation in reporting any suspicious activities near telecommunications infrastructure. By working together, we can help prevent further cable theft incidents and ensure reliable and efficient communication services for all Namibians.
Government Engagement and Legislative Amendments:
Telecom Namibia has been actively engaging with key government authorities to recommend amendments to legislation regarding the prosecution of copper cable theft. In a recent meeting with the Deputy Minister of Finance and Public Enterprises, Hon. Maureen Hinda-Mbuende, the severity of the issue was acknowledged. Hon. Maureen Hinda-Mbuende expressed shock and dismay at the impact of copper cable theft on service delivery in the ICT sector. She called for stricter laws and suggested that businesses involved in trading stolen copper should be closed down.
The Need for Public Vigilance:
Telecom Namibia emphasizes the importance of raising public awareness about the serious threat posed by copper cable theft. This crime disrupts network availability, causes revenue losses, frustrates customers, and increases the costs of replacing stolen equipment. The Deputy Minister highlighted that copper cable theft not only affects economic productivity but also influences investor perceptions. The release of culprits on bail the next day does not align with the revenue losses suffered by the company, emphasizing the need for a review of the legal system.
Security Challenges and Public Responsibility:
With an extensive network of cables running underground and on poles, it is impractical for Telecom Namibia to provide constant security. Therefore, Telecom Namibia calls on all Namibians to exercise patriotism and act as watchdogs to safeguard the national telecommunications backbone. Dr. Stanley Shanapinda, Telecom Namibia CEO, urges the public to report any suspected cable theft in their neighborhoods to ensure reliable and efficient communication services.
Telecom Namibia is committed to addressing the issue of cable theft and ensuring uninterrupted communication services for its customers. By engaging with government authorities, raising public awareness, and advocating for stricter laws, Telecom Namibia aims to combat this crime effectively. The cooperation of the public is crucial in identifying and reporting cable theft incidents to maintain a connected and safe community.