Businesses battling due to continuous burglaries

LIGHTS OUT: Premises belonging to businessman Sabelo Jayiya were recently burgled with the criminals stealing the wiring and destroying the power box. Jayiya and other businessmen at the Ezibeleni industrial area have been victims of break-ins since lockdown Picture: SUPPLIED

Continued burglaries at the Ezibeleni industrial area have become a source of consternation for businessmen who say their operations are now struggling because of the criminality.

Sabspho Chemicals owner, Sabelo Jayiya, has been left in the dark after criminals stripped his premises of electrical wiring.

He has been a victim of the repeated break-ins for months, something that has been going on since lockdown began.

Earlier this year, The Rep reported, (Factories hit by break-ins, August 28) where Jayiya and other businessmen said they feared organised crime had taken hold in the township.

A spate of burglaries had occurred in the area with criminals becoming brazen enough to remove roofing from some buildings. At the time, Jayiya said the problem had moved from burglaries to vandalism, something which made them feel as if they were being targeted.

“We are now in the dark. They stripped and stole electricity cables. What we do not understand is why they completely destroyed the power box,” said Jayiya.

Another business owner, Xolani Nyokana, said he was starting from scratch because of the loss he had incurred. One of his properties had been vandalised while equipment, including an industrial-size geyser, had been stolen from another.

“During the lockdown, I made visits to the site. In broad daylight, they were inside squatting, meaning they had turned the place into their home.

“In the very first week of lockdown we had a burglary. The doors were destroyed and working equipment stolen. I have only recovered 30% of what we lost. Even what we got back was so damaged we cannot use it again.

“They were here again recently, managing to enter from the roof of a building that is six metres high. To me that proves this is coordinated,” added Nyokana.

Police spokesperson, Capt Namhla Mdleleni said no arrests have been made in connection with the burglaries.


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