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Repaired street lights to improve visibility and safety on major routes in east

This project of fixing street lights is part of the mayor’s integrated urban management programme, an ongoing project which will focus on different major routes within the city.

Relief has been brought to Pretoria east residents this week, as Tshwane repaired street lights that remained out of order for months due to vandalism, malfunctioning bulbs and non-maintenance.

The street lights are on roads along various busy routes throughout the east of Pretoria and were fixed not only for visibility, but also to assist in deterring criminal activity, according to Ward 101 councillor Malcolm de Klerk.

De Klerk said old lamps, broken poles and vandalised lights on Solomon Mahlangu Road were fixed.

This move comes after numerous complaints from residents and motorists who were concerned about safety and security due to the poor lighting conditions.

“The project will continue throughout the city,” De Klerk said.

He said this project was cost-effective as it was being conducted by Tshwane’s electricity teams only, instead of expensive contractors.

“They are fixing main routes first like Solomon Mahlangu and Atterbury from N1.”

De Klerk said secondary roads like Olympus Drive will follow, then residential roads.

Some of the roads in the east to be repaired include:

1. Atterbury: from N1- Solomon Mahlangu

2. Solomon Mahlangu: Stellenberg Road to Dieselboom Road

3. Hinterland to Ravela

Mayor Cilliers Brink recently acknowledged that poor public lighting endangers communities.

The metro plans to employ a public lighting repair team.

He added that the metro also planned to instal solar lights as a solution to the challenges of broken street lights.

Brink also referred to a recent partnership with insurance giant, Santam, to repair street lights in the CBD that already has been introduced this month.

Civil rights organisation AfriForum is also ready to tackle the issue of broken streetlights.

De Wet Ungerer, AfriForum co-ordinator for the Greater Pretoria South, said that Pretoria east residents should not be shrouded in darkness due to faulty street lights.

He explained that the organisation’s Garsfontein and Faerie Glen branch would tackle the problem as soon as possible.

Earlier this month the branch started an audit to determine how many street lights are faulty in the Garsfontein and Faerie Glen area.

The audit will be presented to the metro to see how it and the organisation together can address these outages in future.

According to Ungerer, the organisation is prepared to help the Faerie Glen and Garsfontein residents if the metro can not repair the street lights.

Metro spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said the programme is currently being implemented in Region 6 as part of the mayor’s new Urban Management Programme (UMP).

Mashigo said Solomon Mahlangu Drive and Atterbury Road in Pretoria east are among the main routes in the city identified as part of the new UMP and the Region.

“With the assistance of centralised Regional Operations and Coordination teams have been working on the two routes this last week. It must also be noted that Solomom Mahlangu is a provincial road and the city Region 6 only assist with public lighting – the rest of the other services are carried out by Gauteng,” Mashigo said.

On the other hand, Atterbury Road is owned by the city.

Mashigo said the integrated urban management programmne is an ongoing project which will focus on different major routes within the city.

“The programme is aiming to focus in an area for 2-4 weeks depending on the nature of the theft and vandalism on the existing infrastructure.”

Mashigo said ongoing theft and vandalism of the city’s infrastructure is regrettable.

“Where street light poles have been cut off and light fittings are stolen they are being replaced. TMPD will be requested to increase visibility in crime hot spot areas and members of the community are encouraged to report any theft or vandalism to the police as and when it happens.”

He said the costs of repairs will be consolidated at the end of each mini project focusing on the area of concern – which will include material used, labour, transport and equipment used.

He said the city saw it fit to light-up major routes.

“Members of the community are using public roads to walk to work or catch public transport during early hours of the morning and evenings when they return from work. It becomes important to light up the major routes to allow for visibility of pedestrians so that they clearly visible to motorists to avoid incidents.”

Elardus Park resident Jaronet Brooks said he was glad to see the city doing something about out-of-service street lights.

He said it was ideal to replace electricity street lights with solar due to their cost effective nature.

However Brooks thieves are currently targeting solar and gas items.

Melody Pieterse, who resides in Van Nikkelen street in Elardus Park said their biggest concern is the safety issue that comes with the broken street lights.

“I am very excited to hear about the street lights that will be fixed.”

She said the places of concern are Solomon Mahlangu Drive, Boeing Street and Delmas Road.

“This roads need major lighting up.”

Pieterse said she lives on a corner and their street lamp pole fell over a while back during a severe storm.

“They came to collect the damaged pole after our concern grew because of the live wires that were slightly exposed. In the meantime, while we wait for the replacement, it is pitch dark on this corner.”

She said residential street lights also need urgent attention, especially now in winter when it quickly gets dark.

“If I come home alone in the evenings from work, you can’t see anything in the street.

“Someone can very easily climb over the fence where our house lights can’t reach, and no one will notice.”

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