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Over the past ten months, the City of Cape Town’s Transport Directorate has spent approximately R7,7 million on repairs of electrical and traffic signal infrastructure that have been vandalised or stolen at intersections across the city.
The intersections that are affected include:
‘Acts of violence, theft and vandalism of infrastructure not only cost the City, Western Cape Government and Sanral, but the residents, including children. Every time a traffic signal is damaged by violence that comes with protest action, we have to find money somewhere to replace it as it has a severe impact on road safety when signals are non-functional. Often, the money is allocated to a future project that stands to benefit our communities. Thus, every time we repair a vandalised signal, another project is delayed and the community is robbed.
‘Furthermore, the safety of our residents is also compromised and roads become congested which cause huge delays and frustration for our residents and motorists. In some areas, intersections are repeatedly vandalised and this puts an added strain on our already strained resources. Each rectification activity takes several days to carry out,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Alderman Felicity Purchase.
Delays in repairs are also due to the fact that some of the signals belong to the Western Cape Government and the two spheres of government have to collaborate on the best way to rectify the situation and that takes time. Also, Eskom supplies electricity to some of the intersections. All of these factors impact on the time it takes to do repair work, or to replace stolen infrastructure. ‘I understand that residents are often frustrated by the delays in repairing signals and I appeal to them to please take all of this into account. Keeping our residents safe is our priority, however, we cannot do this on our own. We also need residents to report suspicious activities, or when they witness the theft and vandalism of our infrastructure,’ said Alderman Purchase.
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