Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 26-09-2019
Anti-crime activist Yusuf Abramjee says cell phone tower battery theft is a major problem and is costing South Africa millions of rand’s.
It’s understood mobile operator MTN which has about fifteen thousand base stations across South Africa had about four thousand towers attacked, vandalized and batteries stolen, with each lithium battery costing an estimated R28 000.
The other mobile operators, Vodacom, Cell C and Telkom are also bearing the brunt of the scourge.
Abramjee says cellphone tower battery theft has been carrying on for a while and was largely under the radar.
He says while the lithium batteries are being sold in South Africa via social media platforms, there is also a market for them in countries like Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique because of apparent load shedding.
“This is organized crime. These syndicates are operating very brazenly and they are costing the industry millions of rand’s every year to the extent that we not have a problem that we are now seeing networks being affected and is causing major disruption to our network.”
He says the criminals must face the full might of the law.
“These people shouldn’t be charged for stolen property. They should actually be charged for sabotage because they are sabotaging out telecommunications network these criminals.”
Abramjee says the networks are considering upping the security technology by putting tracking devices into the batteries so that the criminals can be traced and arrested.
Listen to the interview with Yusuf Abramjee