Thursday, 02 December 2021

Advanced Bank Safe technology for cable theft prevention

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It is impossible to guard the thousands of kilometers of overhead copper cables, much of it in remote areas. See for the full story.

TRANSNET has reported the loss of over 1,000 kilometers of overhead cable from Jan to Oct 2021 - and in the two weeks leading up to 10 November, another 55 km was stolen.

Although South Africa is the world leader in cable theft per capita, other countries also suffer:  the USA loses almost $1 Billion per year to cable theft and the UK, Latin America and India experience significant copper theft.

South Africa continues to feel the effect of loss because of copper theft – and there is no simple and inexpensive solution to this problem.


The true cost of the effect of cable theft in South Africa is estimated at R187 billion per year – and this was before COVID-19 which forced already massive cable theft through the roof.

Transnet has announced that it is considering doing away with electric traction and just using diesel in future – another major expense resulting from cable theft that South Africa cannot afford.


Electrical cable is most vulnerable where it goes into, and it leaves the trench. 95% of Cable theft occurs when the thief believes he can gain access to the cable where the channel or cable tray is visible.

Preventing the channels from being destroyed is difficult: thieves are tenacious and break concrete or use hack saws to saw through metal pipes to steal electrical cable.


Bank safe manufacturers have employed the use of reinforced concrete between 2 retaining sheets for decades.

CableDNA has now developed Carapax which uses the same technology.

Carapax involves an inner tube which contains the electrical cable. The inner tube is encased in a thick layer of Ultra High-performance concrete. Thick outer pipe contains the Ultra High-Performance concrete.

Ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) is a new class of concrete developed in France in the 1990s with superior characteristics including high workability, high compressive strength, increased ductility, and high resistance to environmental attacks.

The Ultra High-Performance Concrete is:

  • armoured with thousands of strands of fibre for superior strength
  • 14 times harder than concrete
  • 7 times harder to break and cut
  • thick enough to resist repeated attempts at destruction


Visible cable ingress and egress is now protected against escalating copper cable theft, making it extremely difficult for thieves to access the cables.

State Owned Enterprises, Municipalities and mines can now rest assured that their cables are protected using the most advanced technologies in the world.

CARAPAX was developed in South Africa.

CableDNA is an electrical cable theft prevention company based in South Africa.