MEC urges cops to be friendly

Com­mu­nity urged to help stop scourge by re­port­ing crimes in their ar­eas

Pretoria News - - Front Page - RAPULA MOATSHE rapula.moatshe@inl.co.za

OVER­HEAD street lights in­stalled by the City of Tsh­wane are be­ing stolen at an alarm­ing rate by peo­ple who use them at fu­neral night vig­ils and other func­tions.

In some in­stances, the al­leged thieves steal the street light poles and use them in build­ing struc­tures for car washes.

Most shock­ingly, the mu­nic­i­pal in­fras­truc­ture is of­ten van­dalised in broad day­light or stolen in full view of the pub­lic.

These were the con­cerns ex­pressed by Ex­ec­u­tive Mayor Solly Msimanga.

The mayor called on the Metro Po­lice to take a tough stance and ap­pre­hend those re­spon­si­ble for the crime.

“This is wrong be­cause it robs the peo­ple of their safety,” Msimanga said.

“At night when it is dark and not safe, you are most likely to be robbed be­cause you can’t see who is com­ing,” he said.

Msimanga lamented the fact that crim­i­nals of­ten got off the hook be­cause the com­mu­nity failed to play its part by re­port­ing them to law en­force­ment au­thor­i­ties.

“(These acts of theft) of­ten hap­pen at least 20m from some­body’s house.

“You can’t tell me that when some­body is chop­ping down a street light pole, you can’t hear any­thing and you can’t see any­thing,” said Msimanga.

He urged mem­bers of the com­mu­nity to come out firmly against the scourge, which was on the in­crease.

“We have now re­alised that these bulbs stolen from street poles are used in tav­erns, in car washes and in other peo­ple’s shops: oth­ers are rented out to func­tions that are hap­pen­ing in the town­ships.

“We have seen in­ci­dents where some­one turned the street poles into pil­lars for a car wash,” he said.

Msimanga said the city needed to put a stop to the crime “be­cause, not only is it theft of the city’s in­fras­truc­ture, it is also rob­bing our peo­ple of their safety”.

He said it cost the city in the re­gion of R10 000 to re­place a sin­gle street light. “Now, in­stead of spend­ing money to lay new in­fras­truc­ture, we have to re­place that which should not have been stolen or van­dalised in the first place,” the mayor said.

| JAC­QUES NAUDE/African News Agency (ANA)

EX­EC­U­TIVE Mayor Solly Msimanga urged mem­bers of the com­mu­nity to come out firmly against the scourge, which was on the in­crease.

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