Frequently Asked Questions

How do I protect my cable where it enters and exits the trench?

We supply a premium product for this (see here) or you can use sturdy galvanised water pipes or cover the cable with concrete. Alternatively you can let the cable come out directly under the building from the trench.

Why do you use Y-Standards as anchors for Bulli in trenches?

Bulli is all about quality and cost efficiency. Y-standards are sturdy, rust-proof, inexpensive and can be bought from any hardware store or co-operative.

Y-Standards can easily be cut to the required length and their design allows the Bulli device to lock onto it to protect against theft.

Also, it saved you cost if we do not ship heavy items to you.

How does the Bulli cable protection system help protect against theft in trenches?

Thieves normally short-circuit the cable they want to steal, cut it on both ends and pull out the whole length, often using a vehicle.

The Bulli system anchors the cable in the trench so that it is impossible to easily remove the whole length of cable as before. The system inhibits horizontal movement to prevent pulling the cable out sideways and also limits vertical movement to prevent upward pulling of the cable.

Not being able to pull out the cable, the thieves are now reduced to digging. To make this even more difficult, the Bulli anchors are spaced randomly at an average of 3-5 meters apart. The thieves now do not know how far they will have to dig before they will find the next anchor.

Digging out the cable is hard work, takes time and is noisy. The time taken to unearth the cable now exponentially increases the thieves’ chances of getting caught.

Is there a protection system that is 100% effective against theft?

No. There is no cable protection method that is 100% effective. We can make it very difficult for thieves to steal to discourage theft but a determined thief will eventually get the cable if he has enough time. Even covering the cable with concrete cannot stop thieves. All that can be done is to make theft as time consuming as possible and difficult as possible to discourage thieves.

How do I remove my cable after I have secured it with Bulli?

We suggest that you use your cell phone’s GPS to mark the location of each anchor.

That will help because when/if the time comes to remove the cable, you will know exactly where to dig. You can then use a small angle grinder or an acetylene torch to cut the cable free. Please note that some bushes have been designed to contain Acetol and will emit a noxious gas when exposed to heat to make theft even more difficult.

Us a standard mask for protection.

How big is the cable theft problem?

Cable theft is drastically increasing – and it is going to get worse. Cable theft is directly link to unemployment and copper is becoming scarce: in 2028 there will be a worldwide copper supply deficit of 10 million tons.  This will drive up copper prices and therefore copper theft.

According to the Minerals Council, South Africa produced 65,503 tons of copper in 2017 of which 25,700 tons were sold locally – which left only 29,900 tons for export. Yet a Carte Blanche documentary (see showed that R440m worth of copper is shipped out of South Africa every month. That translates to 66,000 tons of copper exported per year – 36,000 tons more than the copper that we are currently mining.

This discrepancy is the illegal copper market.

Who buys stolen copper?

It is often unscrupulous scrap yard owners who buy stolen copper and ship it to India or China.

Do you offer other theft protection solutions?

Yes we do. Bulli is the DIY part of our operations but we  also serve large corporations, mining and Government.

We aim to destroy the illegal copper market by making it too risky too buy or sell copper cable. We also make  electrical cables and other high value assets like batteries and equipment permanently identifiable so that effective prosecution can be done.

How do I calculate the number of anchors I need to get?

When protecting cables in trenches you have to decide how critical it is to protect your cable – the more anchors you install, the higher the cost and  the more difficult it will be to steal your cable. Normally anchors are installed at random distances apart with and average of 5 meter apart for normal installations and an average of 3 meters apart for critical installations. So simply divide the length of the cable by your chosen average and you have the number of anchors you will need.

On surfaces it depends on the route of the cable – but again you have to decide how critical your installation is. Normally the devices are placed 1-2 meters apart: 1 meter apart for critical installations and 2 meters apart for normal installations. It is also advisable to install anchors wherever the cable changes direction.

Can I order products if I am located outside South Africa?

Yes you can. Please remember that you will be responsible for all shipping and customs fees.