Protecting infrastructure is critical to growth

Government once again reiterates that every person in the country is duty bound to protect the country’s critical economic infrastructure.  The recent incidents of cable theft, railway destruction, vandalism, and allegations of sabotage at Eskom, goes against the country’s endeavours to move our economy in an upward trajectory so that the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality can be addressed. In another incident, which occurred today, Eskom had to withdraw services in Ivory Park Ext 8 because of violence directed towards its employees and the community taking Eskom equipment.

Minister in The Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, said: “We condemn the incident at Ivory Park, and similar criminal activities that have occurred. We will not tolerate such forms of criminality and perpetrators will face the full might of the law. All citizens must be cognisant that critical infrastructure consists of all systems, or things that must always be operational and intact for daily works and lives to succeed. Vandalism, theft and destruction of infrastructure cripples economic activity in the country. Therefore, we all have a role to play to and stop the destruction of our infrastructure, and uplift South Africa.”

Government has introduced interventions to strengthen security for public assets, amongst others; the Department of Transport has already embarked on a multidisciplinary security intervention, which includes 3100 security personnel at PRASA, as well as the construction of walls and fences. Furthermore, certain sections of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act came into effect at the end of April, which aims amongst others to ensure public-private cooperation in the identification and protection of critical infrastructure.

“Infrastructure is central to South Africa’s economic reconstruction and recovery and in order to achieve a fundamental shift in our economy, we must start with protecting our assets. Government is steadfast and focussed on the priorities outlined in the State of the Nation Address, and thus we will take decisive steps to safeguard our democracy, protect our economic infrastructure and build safer communities for all,” Minister Gungubele said.

“Whilst government continues in its endeavours to safeguard our assets, we call upon members of the public to play their part in protecting our infrastructure,” added Minister Gungubele. In light of the country’s economic recovery and reconstruction plan and the progress that have already been made through Operation Vulindlela, in securing investment in the country, communities must work with SAPS to report any incident or suspicion of criminal acts against infrastructure.

Members of the public can report any suspicious behaviour around critical infrastructure to SAPS through the Crime Stop number: 08600 10111 or send tips through MYSAPSAPP. All information will be kept private and callers can choose to remain anonymous.