Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTC) has noted with concern an upsurge in the destruction and vandalism of its property especially theft of copper cables and has appealed to the public and all stakeholders to help arrest the situation.
The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) listed Telco said these acts have affected BTC’s mandate of offering reliable and efficient service to customers at all times especially during these trying times of COVID-19.
Headed by Managing Director (MD) Anthony Masunga, BTC said not only does cable theft have a potential to negatively affect the economy, vandalism of BTC infrastructure puts the lives of Batswana and visitors at risk.
“When cables are stolen or vandalized, lives are put at risk as people cannot make calls to either request for an ambulance, report a crime or a fire. Theft of cables also affects e-commerce, e-learning and e-health services which are critical in these trying times of restricted movements as a result of COVID-19”Masunga said.
Last week alone, BTC had over 375 metres of copper cable stolen in Gaborone West Industrial and Tsolamosese areas.
From June to August 2020, over 1200 metres of copper cable was stolen or vandalized in Mogoditshane, Gaborone (Block 5, 6 and 10, Broadhurst, and Fairgrounds Mall leaving businesses and residents without fixed voice telephony and internet (Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line) services.
“The theft of copper cables negatively impacts our Country’s reputation as a destination of choice. Investors and visitors alike will perceive Botswana as an un-safe nation with an inefficient network service that is not ideal for doing business. It also gives rise to network disruption leading to an escalation in customer complaints,” he said.
To fight the scourge, BTCL recently engaged stakeholders comprising law enforcement, waste management, pollution control officers, media and scrap metal dealers in the fight against cable theft and vandalism. Further, BTCL appeals to the public to play a critical role and report any suspicious activities.