Cable theft interrupts testing at SABS laboratories

June 25th, 2019, Published in Articles: EE Publishers, Articles: Energize, Articles: Vector, Featured: EE Publishers

The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) has advised customers in a statement that testing conditions have been disrupted as a result of cable theft in the Pretoria area. The unforeseen disruption, says the statement, will cause delays in testing and the issuing of customer test certificates.

Electricity cables were stolen during May 2019 and, on 19 May 2019, the SABS Building Management System (BMS) was negatively impacted by a power surge. While the repairs to the BMS have been prioritised, the aged system has not been able to stabilise the environmental conditions required by the SABS laboratories.

Statement says that, “over the last four weeks, the supply of testing conditions, namely temperature and humidity from its central plant room to its laboratories, has been interrupted by a faulty building management system (BMS) damaged in an electrical power surge caused by the theft of municipal power cables in the Groenkloof area.

The bureau has not yet been able to fully restore testing conditions.

Although repairs were prioritised, the BMS control panel is still unable to fully monitor and control the hot and cold water system. This system provides the stable testing conditions to the laboratories on the 21 ha campus.

“The engineering team has recommended that the existing boilers operate below the required capacity, at 80°C, to prevent any further disruptions to operations. This decision has slowed the SABS’ ability to fully restore operational testing requirements.”

While repairs are under way, SABS is currently investigating interim localised or standalone solutions for each laboratory.

The SABS has initiated a plant renewal programme for the 40 year-old plant room, but the disruptions to laboratory testing will cause delays in the issuing of customers’ test certificates.

Contact Nils Flaatten, SABS, Tel 012 428-6718 or

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