Some 250 street-lighting poles, specifically designed and manufactured by INFRASET Infrastructure Products to inhibit cable theft, have been installed in Knights, Germiston, for the Ekurhuleni municipality.

Prior to the sinking of the new poles, Knights had experienced several incidents of cable theft. This not only resulted in disruptions to street lighting but a general rise in crime levels as well.

The new poles offer the advantage of being cast with internal conduits, thereby enabling electric cabling to run inside rather than being clamped externally. This means that the cabling is not only supported by the poles but protected as well. Anyone trying to illegally remove cabling from the poles will have to destroy them in the process, as they are made of reinforced concrete.

“The introduction of these poles is a huge deterrent to cable thieves and should they attempt to steal cabling off one or more of the new poles the process will be so protracted they are liable to either give up or be caught red handed. Moreover, the fact that concrete poles have no resale or scrap value and can’t be used as fuel or building material, is an added deterrent,” says Sizwe Mkhize, INFRASET railway products manager.

The poles, which have a single taper, have been manufactured to the following specifications:

  • Pole length: 13m
  • Planting depth: 2.0m
  • Ultimate load transverse: 10kN
  • Working load transverse: 4kN
  • Transverse working moment at ground level: 42kNm
  • Load point from tip: 400mm
  • Safety factor: 2.5
  • Weight of pole: 1,574kg

“The high strength-to-weight ratio of prestressed poles differentiates them from poles made from other materials. Moreover, the properties of prestressed concrete ensure that poles are thin and functional yet relatively light and convenient for contractors to handle. They are also maintenance free and, unlike other materials, suffer no loss of strength over the years, being resistant to insects, fire, rot and corrosion,” concludes Mkhize.

INFRASET poles are manufactured at ISO 9002 accredited factories in a wide range of strengths and sizes to fill most requirements in MV and LV lines. They also comply with Eskom DTC 0106 and various SABS and Spoornet specifications.