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Residents say crime is surging while metro sorts out streetlight contract

According to the disgruntled residents the street lights, which have been dysfunctional for several months now, have contributed to increased robberies and cable theft.

Silverton residents will have to live with increased crime a while longer as Tshwane finalises a contract for streetlight repairs in the area.

Residents have been complaining that dysfunctional streetlights have resulted in increased crime, and urged the metro fix them.

According to the disgruntled residents, the streetlights that have been dysfunctional for several months have contributed to a rise in robberies and cable theft.

Resident Riana Swart said her street, Moreleta, has been in the dark without streetlights since November last year.

“Both the city and ward councillor are aware of this.”

She said she has reported the problem so many times that she no longer knows which case number is the latest.

A metro system generates a case or reference number for every complaint called in.

“We have also written to the office of the city manager because this situation has become dire as thieves see an opportunity to steal as they use the cover of darkness.”

She said there have been two attempted hijackings in the area at night and a lot of cable theft since the streetlights went out.

“As the street is dark, you won’t see where the criminals come from. They just pounce on you.”

She said as the winter approaches, crime will be worse because it gets dark early and stays dark longer.

Swart said she had been told the metro had no cherry pickers to hoist workers up to fix the lights.

The local ward councilor said the problem had been reported to the regional head of maintenance.

Metro spokesperson Selby Bokaba said a specialised unit in the metro police dealt with theft and vandalism of city infrastructure.

He said currently a makeshift internal regional team attended to streetlights repairs while the metro finalised a contract for the fixing of public lights that will enable the regions to attend to the problem.

Bokaba said ward councillors had been informed that at the moment .,streetlight maintenance was limited to main roads because of capacity constraints.

“As soon as the public lighting contract is finalised, the streetlights repair programme will be updated accordingly to cover all streetlights within the region,” he said.

Bokaba said the metro was in regular communication with ward councillors as a gateway to getting information to the residents.

Also read: Two house robbers nabbed after high-speed chase

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