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Traffic light battery theft during lockdown cost City of Cape Town R6.5 million

7 August 2020 7:19 AM
Tags:
Vandalism
Traffic lights
City of Cape Town

City 's Transport Mayco member Felicity Purchase says replacing infrastructure instead of providing more services is a tragedy.

The City of Cape Town has spent millions to replace stolen batteries and units at traffic signalised intersections.

Refilwe Moloto talks to the City of Cape Town's Transport Mayco member Felicity Purchase about how the theft of battery units at traffic lights during lockdown cost the city about R6,5million.

It really is frustrating. We've had devastating theft out of our UPS boxes - the uninterrupted power supply boxes, the batteries we use to keep the traffic lights working during power outages.

Felicity Purchase, Mayco Member for Transport - City of Cape Town

The City has a plan to roll out UPS systems to all major intersections to keep traffic flowing during loadshedding, she explains.

We've spent a fortune of taxpayers money on this and now we're having them stolen left, right and centre.

Felicity Purchase, Mayco Member for Transport - City of Cape Town

She says theft is happening all over, particularly on the Cape Flats, but also in the Southern Suburbs, on the M5 and Voortrekker Road.

The question often raised is should these lights be replaced by traffic circles?

In built-up areas, there is not enough space to add traffic circles because there isn't enough road reserve to put them in place there.

Felicity Purchase, Mayco Member for Transport - City of Cape Town

Increased traffic flow is now of such a nature to require large traffic circles she explains.

The R6.5 million spent on replacing batteries is just those stolen during lockdown, she says.

If you look at the vandalism on the roads with regard to protest action, that is millions and millions. We were just busy doing calculations for that now.

Felicity Purchase, Mayco Member for Transport - City of Cape Town

We are spending a fortune on replacing stuff when we could be providing additional services, and that's the tragedy of it.

Felicity Purchase, Mayco Member for Transport - City of Cape Town

The amount of work that needs to be done in a city this size is enormous and it is wasteful having to replace vandalised infrastructure, she adds.

It's your money, it's my money, it's everybody's money and we need to start taking responsibility for it because it is our assets.

Felicity Purchase, Mayco Member for Transport - City of Cape Town

She says City law enforcement is not sufficient to cover the entire area and suggests that the South African Police Services (SAPS) could perhaps be doing more to assist.

She does acknowledge that in this recent period SAPS too have been overstretched.

We have had more cooperation recently.

Felicity Purchase, Mayco Member for Transport - City of Cape Town

Purchase asks the question, What is the community doing while people steal?

It is everybody's responsibility.

Felicity Purchase, Mayco Member for Transport - City of Cape Town

Listen to the interview below:


7 August 2020 7:19 AM
Tags:
Vandalism
Traffic lights
City of Cape Town

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