MEC urges cops to be friendly
Community urged to help stop scourge by reporting crimes in their areas
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.
EXECUTIVE Mayor Solly Msimanga urged members of the community to come out firmly against the scourge, which was on the increase.