Damage to streetlight infrastructure in Strandfontein Road has been one of the City’s most severe cases of streetlight luminaire theft and damage in recent months. The City is now offering a R5000 reward for anyone with information that can bring these criminals to book.

The City’s Area South is the most severely affected and includes Philippi, Mitchells Plain, Muizenberg, and Wynberg. More than 100 individual street lights have been damaged along this stretch in a short period.

Between July and December 2020, the City’s Electricity Generation and Distribution Department spent R4.6-million to replace and repair the damaged and stolen infrastructure in Area South.

The most recent damage to electrical infrastructure for this section is estimated to cost approximately R600 000.

According to the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy and Climate Change Councillor Phindile Maxiti, there has been a significant increase in vandalism and damage to its electrical infrastructure in some areas in recent months, and attacks on City staff and contractors continue.

The Department is now appealing to the public to help bring these criminals to book.

“The theft and damage to streetlight infrastructure on the Strandfontein Road has been one of the worst cases in recent months. We appeal to residents to come forward and help the City bring an end to this extreme theft and damage. The scourge of vandalism impacts our residents and we cannot allow this to continue,” writes the City in a statement.

“We cannot afford to replace this infrastructure constantly and it is paid for by the customers through the tariffs. Just this incident will cost the City R600 000 to repair. We have also spent considerable resources in trying to keep the lights on along Jakes Gerwel Drive, which is also a hotspot for illegal connections and vandalism and attacks against our staff and contractors.”

The City is offering a R5000 reward to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest, confiscation of stolen or illegal goods, or the handing-in of illegal or stolen goods. This reward is also applicable to information leading to the arrest of people vandalising, damaging or stealing electricity infrastructure or installing illegal connections.

Tampering, theft and vandalism of essential electricity infrastructure, is seen as a priority crime, and as per Section 2 of the Criminal Matters Amendment Act (Act 18 0f 2015), imprisonment not exceeding 30 years and fines not exceeding R100-million is possible, when found guilty. Electricity theft is often driven by well-oiled criminal syndicates, which operate across communities.

Report damage to municipal electrical infrastructure:
SMS: 31220
Email: [email protected]

Anonymous tip-offs welcomed:
Residents can give anonymous tip-offs if they are aware of illegal activity, such as illegal connections that are taking place; that has happened or is still to happen. Please call 112 from a cell phone (toll-free) and 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 for emergencies.

Picture: Facebook / City of Cape Town

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