Thousands of mobile network and fixed line customers in Limpopo were disconnected after a “serious incident of sabotage” to the Telkom network.
Most of the mobile operators were affected‚ along with businesses and individual consumers‚ in the province on Tuesday.
“Technicians were immediately despatched to the sites where the fibre cables were cut and they have been working through the night to restore connectivity”‚ said Telkom spokesman Jacqui O’Sullivan.
“Three significant cable breaks occurred but this was not cable theft. This was the targeted and considered action of a person or persons who knew where to go‚ how to access the fibre and how to do the most damage. This was sabotage”‚ she said.
Telkom reported the incident to police and the department of State Security. State Security services have bolstered security at key communication points and information is being shared with authorities to help identify the culprits.
Telkom is offering a R250,000 reward for information leading to the successful prosecution of the perpetrators.
“The Criminal Matters Amendment Act has created a new offence to criminalise damage to essential infrastructure or interfering with the functioning of basic services through criminal activity. We will vigorously pursue this investigation and will make sure that the full might of the law is brought to bear on any person involved in this crime‚” said O’Sullivan.
Any information related to crimes affecting Telkom’s infrastructure‚ may be reported to the Telkom emergency hotline on 0800 124 000.
Telkom is currently at loggerheads with the Communication Workers Union‚ which on Tuesday vowed to down tools all over the country if their demands for an 11% salary increase‚ six months paid maternity leave and a moratorium on retrenchments are not met.