Have them taped!


Electric cable theft costs the South African economy billions…in rand, in power interruptions, in faulty telecommunications, in train delays – causing frustration, mayhem and disaster. Identifying cable ownership is important in securing convictions of cable thieves.

(Pic shows CBid tape still intact within the conductor after a fire and legible for identification.)

Easily removable CBiD tape embedded in cable conductors is an initiative that allows for four potential prosecution options:

  • Possession of stolen goods: rightful ownership can be identified with certainty.
  • A piece of stolen cable can be related to a specific crime scene.
  • The Second Hand Goods Act, Clause 21 requires a dealer to keep a record of serial numbers.
  • Clause 22 requires the dealer to report any attempt made to damage the marking. Melted tape remains as evidence.


Take note

  • Copper to the total value of R259 M was stolen in 2010.
  • Cable can be marked in many ways as a means of discouraging theft.
  • CBiD is a viable, effective means of ensuring that cable is less likely to be stolen and that rightful ownership can be confirmed.


Published as:

We have them taped: 10 million metres ahead in cable theft prevention

By K Leeburn, CBI-electric: African Cables,

Electricity+Control: June 2011 (pgs 4 – 6)

Email: Kieron.leeburn@cbi-electric.com