By Friday 19 August about 13 200 Telkom customers had been hit by outages caused by sabotage.
“A total of 85 street distribution cabinets (SDCs) have been damaged in the past five days,” says Jacqui O’Sullivan, Telkom managing executive of communication. “Many of these SDCs have either been fully repaired or are partially repaired. In areas where the work is still underway, the technicians are bringing streets back online as they complete the repairs. Our teams will continue to work around the clock until the service to all the affected customers is restored.”
On Friday morning Telkom brought a Contempt of Court application against eight members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) who defied Monday’s urgent interdict by the Labour Court. The interdict prohibits the CWU and its members from blockading Telkom entrances and exits, intimidating working employees and damaging any Telkom facilities and equipment. Telkom is seeking prosecution of those CWU members who defied the court order.
Last week, a CWU protester threw a brick at the car window of one of the non-striking employees as the employee was leaving a Telkom facility in Randburg. The protester was arrested. On Thursday in the Western Cape, a number of non-striking technicians were sent threatening texts in an attempt to get them to join the strike.
“These incidents are examples of ongoing acts of intimidation by the CWU and the spike in sabotage is related to this industrial action,” O’Sullivan says “These are not random acts of vandalism or incidents of cable theft.”
Last week, Telkom announced a R500 000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the saboteurs. This reward is available to any person either within Telkom or a member of the public with relevant information. Telkom has asked that any person with information related to these crimes contact the Telkom crime reporting line on 0800 124 000.