Vandalism blocks service delivery
Makana Municipality is facing a big challenge of vandalism and would like to appeal to residents to work with the municipality in its attempts to address the problem.
Over the past few years Makana Municipality assets have been targeted by vandals causing the municipality to spend hundreds of thousands in fixing these assets.
The municipality is facing serious financial challenges and avoidable issues such as vandalism and illegal dumping only add to the financial challenges of the institution.
The municipality would like the community of Makana to be part of finding a solution to this problem, because the people who are responsible for these acts live in our communities. According to Makana municipality director of Infrastructure Daluxolo Mlenzana, the recurrence of vandalism in Makana has had an adverse effect on the whole operations of service delivery, especially electricity and water supply, as damage to some of the assets has led to water outages or inability to monitor the supply.
He said the municipality is losing water through vandal- ised infrastructure and most of this vandalism is suspected to be taking place at night. Mlenzana said the areas that are mostly targeted include the water treatment works, where lots cable of theft normally occurs, as well as theft of copper material including fencing, reservoirs and pump station wiring.
“Bulk meters that were recently vandalised cost around R80 000. I am not sure of the value for the cables, but the cost of fixing the pumps at Belmont due to cable theft amounts to R35 000,” said Mlenzana. He said that municipality is in process of implementing measures to combat these acts of vandalism.
“The municipality is changing the steel material where possible to use non recycled material like fibre glass and more security measures are being implemented as well,” Mlenzana added.
Some areas, especially Stones Hill and the surround- ing areas, have been affected by blackouts for days recently due to cable theft. This is unacceptable as these are essential services that the citizens should be getting but are interrupted by vandals.
He said that forums have been formed to educate people around Grahamstown about the effects caused by vandalism on service delivery.
Mlenzana urged the community to take ownership of the infrastructure that is provided for the community, adding that it is their responsibility to ensure that these assets are taken care of so that they can serve their purpose.
He also called upon the community to join forces with the institution in fighting the issue of theft and vandalism by ensuring that they are the eyes and ears of the municipality as the perpetrators resides within the communities.
“This damage to the municipal infrastructure does not only affect the municipality. The most affected are the citizens because services to the community are interrupted and that is unacceptable to everyone affected.
Another concern of the municipality is the growing concern of illegal dumping.
The municipality is commit- ted to ensuring that the town is clean, but this also needs the community to play its part in order for it to be successful. The municipality would like to appeal to the residents of Makana to refrain from illegal dumping. The municipality has marked legal dumping sites for garden refuse as identified by the different communities.
The municipality also col- lects household refuse on a weekly basis.
Residents are urged to make use of these services and discourage those who continue to dump illegally.