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Hole in M4 fence raises security concerns

Durban North ward councillor Shaun Ryley says he is concerned the hole may lead to criminal activity.

EARLIER this year the City enclosed and secured a turret on the Ellis Brown Viaduct along the M4 Ruth First Highway much to the delight of residents and cyclists using the route. The move came after several violent robberies and muggings on the bridge which runs over the entrance to the Beachwood Mangroves Nature Reserve.

The City had also put up fencing in April 2017 in a bid to stop the attacks on cyclists. Now however, a hole has been cut in the fence next to the turret prompting security concerns.

Ward councillor Shaun Ryley said he had been aware of the hole in the fence since the beginning of June and had been in contact with the City to get it repaired before any serious incidents were reported.

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“I’ve reported the hole to the Roads and Stormwater Maintenance Department who are responsible for the fencing along the M4 highway. They’ve undertaken to cover or fix the hole in the fence. The fear is once it is repaired someone may cut it again. It’s a shame as the City has gone through the expense of putting up the fence and trying to make the route safer for pedestrians and cyclists and then this happens. Ideally if budget was made available perhaps a clear view type of fence may be worth a look like the one at Virginia Beach.

“So far there have been no reported incidents but the reality is this could potentially lead to criminal acts. I’m able to climb through the hole quite easily to get to the other side so it could be used for a quick getaway. I would rather err on the side of caution and block the hole up as soon as possible. In the short term, if someone continues to keep cutting holes the City will have no other option but to keep patching it up. Perhaps the razor wire could be raised. There is just no good reason to cut a hole in the fence,” he said.


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