Emergency services in Queenstown, South Africa, are currently out of reach to the public after a cable theft yesterday (Thursday).
Officials at Komani Hospital and Luhkunji Municipality told HumanIPO that services remained down and there was little idea of when the problem would be resolved.
In further embarrassment, since the Luhkunji Municipality offices only re-open on Monday, little support is being provided from them.
“We have been flooded with complaints from the public, who could not reach our emergency services. We would like to indicate that this was caused by cable theft,” Sizwe Kupelo, Lunkunji Municipality spokesperson told News24.
The theft, thought to have taken place on Thursday evening (January 3), resulted in 600m of missing cables which caused the communication disability.
Kupelo appealed to the public to use an alternative number, namely 083 378 0631, instead of the general listed numbers.
The general well-known numbers of 10177 and 082 112 both sounded like they were ringing when dialled by the public, when they were in effect not sounding on the side of the emergency services offices. Hence public anger at ineffective response was widespread.
Two cases of cable theft arrest have been reported in the KwaZulu-Natal and North West provinces. The accused parties appeared in court during December 2012.
Cable theft cost South Africa more than R5 billion (US$ 589.9 million) in 2012.
Stricter pursuit of criminals targeting cables is high priority, Mininsi Zweli, spokesperson of the SAPS, told HumanIPO.