Government calls for protection of economic infrastructure

Government has reiterated its call for every person in the country to protect the country’s critical economic infrastructure.

This follows recent incidents of cable theft, railway destruction, vandalism, and allegations of sabotage at Eskom.

“These incidents go against the country’s endeavours to move the economy in an upward trajectory, so that the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality are addressed,” said Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele.

On Thursday, Eskom had to withdraw services in Ivory Park Ext 8 because of violence directed towards its employees and the community taking Eskom equipment.

“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 work and life to succeed.

“Vandalism, theft and destruction of infrastructure cripples economic activity in the country. Therefore, we all have a role to play to stop the destruction of our infrastructure, and uplift South Africa,” Gungubele said.

In response to the destruction on the country’s infrastructure, government has introduced interventions to strengthen security for public assets.

The Department of Transport has already embarked on a multidisciplinary security intervention, which includes the recruitment of 3 100 security personnel at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), as well as the construction of walls and fences.

Certain sections of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act came into effect at the end of April. The act aims to, among others, 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 focused 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,” Gungubele said.

While government continues in its endeavours to safeguard national assets, members of the public are urged to play their part in protecting the infrastructure.

“In light of the country’s Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Plan and the progress that has already been made through Operation Vulindlela in securing investment in the country, communities must work with the police to report any incident or suspicion of criminal acts against infrastructure,” Gungubele said.

Members of the public can report any suspicious behaviour around critical infrastructure to the South African Police Service 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.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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