News / South Africa

Virginia Keppler
1 minute read
5 Jun 2017
6:20 am

Tshwane targets reckless contractors

Virginia Keppler

In Centurion, contractors have drilled through electric lines and water pipes, causing power and water cuts.

Fibre optic cables | AFP PHOTO

The city of Tshwane has declared war on contractors who have obtained wayleaves to install underground fibre cables in Tshwane and are now causing serious damage to the city’s service infrastructure, particularly in Centurion.

The MMC for corporate and shared services, Cilliers Brink, said in Centurion these contractors had drilled through electric lines and water pipes, causing power and water cuts.

“Residents and ward councillors are experiencing endless frustration due to this careless behaviour. As it is, the city of Tshwane has suffered years of neglect of repairs and maintenance,” Brink said.

MMC for roads and transport and corporate services Sheila Lynn Senkubuge said she discovered that the city’s processes to hold such contractors liable for their negligence has in the past been inadequate.

“We are now making the commitment that this will be dealt with decisively henceforth,” she said.

Wayleaves are granted mainly to telephone and internet companies under a city wayleave bylaw.

These wayleaves are meant to include penalty clauses.

“It is nevertheless clear that many contractors simply disregard service infrastructure and operate without the necessary skill and care.

“City officials will be held accountable for their oversight over wayleave holders, who must account for the damage they cause. They are simply not looking after the city’s service infrastructure,” Senkubuge said.

She said she would launch an investigation into the matter to determine all the issues that had led to this negligence of the bylaws. The city has urged members of the public who see contractors cause damage to obtain proof and share it with ward councillors.

The city promised to provide further details of how it planned to overhaul the city’s wayleave system.