ZESA has decided to install sensors and cameras so as to curb the rampant vandalism of its infrastructure. About this development, ZESA Enterprises Burutsa Mandipezano said:
We want to support the Government by ensuring that every transformer in the country will have a tracking chip that can be tracked if a transformer is stolen.
We will also set up hidden cameras that will take pictures of thieves and people who vandalise transformers because the rate of vandalism is worrisome.
If you consider that the company is losing something like 3 transformers a single night, it’s justified to try out these measures in order to put this costly problem to bed.
In monetary terms, the vandalism of ZESA’s infrastructure has cost it at least $20 million. Instead of having to connect new people to the electric grid, ZESA is having to channel the money channel to replace the vandalised infrastructure.
Effectiveness in deterring vandalism
Camera’s are obviously for capturing the physical identity of the criminals (and how they are carrying out the vandalism so as to guard against it) and sensors are for geo-tracking the equipment thieves would have stolen.
Evidently, cameras and sensors are not necessarily for preventing thieves to steal ZESA’s infrastructure, instead, they are for ‘catching’ the thieves. So perhaps after a good number of criminals are caught, the technology will start to act as a deterrent to criminals, who will now know that they will get caught.
I guess the initial (before cameras and sensors play their part) preventive action Zesa should do is “ring-fencing the transformers using spikes so that it becomes difficult for thieves to get in and steal” as Burutsa Mandipezano.