- The City of Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni are battling vandals who have been targeting various streetlights
- Criminals are said to be stealing fuses, light casings as well as cables for unknown reasons according to City Power
- The City of Ekurhuleni has committed to repairing streetlights but says the backlog will persist until 2022
GAUTENG - The City of Johannesburg as well as the City of Ehurhuleni have been left in the dark after scrap metal hunters have ravaged streetlights.
According to a report by The Citizen, criminals have been relentless in harvesting light casings, photocells, cables as well as light bulbs.
City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena says that there has been increased activity in the theft of streetlights metals however the reasons for these thefts are unclear.
“If you drive around Johannesburg, most of the streetlights are vandalised – actually they have been cut off, mowed down by criminals for whatever reason.," said Mangena.
Mangena went on to say that the city is investing in technology to protect streetlight infrastructure but has also called residents to assist in keeping their streets lit at night. Magena added that they would be raiding scrap metal yards they believe are purchasing harvested materials from streetlights.
City of Ekurhuleni says East Rand streetlights are being targeted by criminals
The City of Ekurhuleni's Zweli Dlamini says streetlight pole covers are being forcefully removed to gain access to conductors, especially in the East Rand.
"Criminals are stealing streetlight cables and aerial bundle conductors to sell as scrap or to use it for doing illegal connections," said Dlamini.
Dlamini added that in some instances fuses or wires are not stolen but streetlights are vandalised to darken the area for criminal activities.
The City of Ekurhuleni committed to repairing broken streetlights
Earlier this year, the City of Ekurhuleni stated that they have begun to reduce the backlog in complaints of broken streetlights.
Due to the stringent control of the number of employees allowed at work during the various periods of lockdown, a backlog of street light complaints arose, according to a report by Alberton Record.
In April, the City appointed contractors to assist city officials with street light maintenance and repairs, however, they believe that the backlog will persist until July 2022.
Ekurhuleni ANC councillor arrested For allegedly looting a liquor store
In other Ekurhuleni related news, Briefly News reported the African National Congress has confirmed that a member of the party, who is also the Ekurhuleni ward councillor, has been arrested following the looting that took place in Gauteng earlier this month.
In a statement issued by the regional executive committee of the ANC in Ekurhuleni, the governing party stated that the councillor had been apprehended on allegations of public violence and theft, according to News24.
However, the arrest could not be confirmed by police spokesperson Colonel Brenda Muridili.
According to EWN, the councillor was among those who were arrested for looting a bottle store at Daveyton Mall.
ANC regional secretary Thembinkosi Nciza stated that although the party can confirm the arrest, they cannot confirm the charges that have been brought against the ward councillor.
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