Sukoluhle Ndlovu Midlands Correspondent
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority subsidiary ZESA Enterprises (ZENT) plans to install cameras on transformers to curb theft and vandalism, a top official has said.
Recently, the company announced that it was losing at least three transformers every night to vandalism and theft.
In an interview, ZENT acting managing director Mr Burutsa Mandipezano said the initiative is aimed at reducing theft of power infrastructure across the country, a situation he described as worrisome.
“We want to support Government by ensuring that every transformer in the country will have a tracking chip that can be tracked if a transformer is stolen.
“We will also set up hidden cameras that will take pictures of thieves and people who vandalise transformers because the rate of vandalism is worrisome,” he said.
Mr Mandipezano said consumers can also help reduce theft and vandalism of transformers by ring fencing them with spikes.
“It’s not our duty alone to prevent theft of transformers. Consumers are also encouraged to help by ring fencing the transformers using spikes so that it becomes difficult for thieves to get in and steal,” he said.
Theft of electricity infrastructure such as copper wires and transformers remains a huge problem which continues to present challenges to Zesa.
Last year, Zesa, announced that it has lost transformers worth about $20 million and hundreds of copper cable rods to theft and vandalism, which resulted in the power utility setting up a whistle-blower initiative to reward those who report suspected theft and vandalism of electricity infrastructure.