Traffic signal theft and vandalism is costing the City of Cape Town millions to repair and replace. File photo: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)
Traffic signal theft and vandalism is costing the City of Cape Town millions to repair and replace. File photo: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

City of Cape Town sees red over R7.7m bill for traffic signal theft, vandalism

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Apr 6, 2021

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Cape Town - Vandalism and theft of its traffic signals is not only costing the transport directorate money, but residents too, the City of Cape Town said.

In a statement released on Tuesday, it said in the past month the transport directorate has spent approximately R7.7 million on repairs to electrical and traffic signal infrastructure that has either been vandalised or stolen at intersections across the city.

The affected intersections are Blaauwberg Road and Janssens Avenue, Blaauwberg and Koeberg Roads, Giel Basson Avenue in and around Burgundy Estate, Potsdam Road near Dunoon, the Plattekloof Road/N7 interchange and the Malibongwe Drive/N7 interchange.

Mayco member for transport Felicity Purchase said that violence along with the theft and vandalism of infrastructure is not only costing the city, the provincial government and the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral), but also residents, including children.

She said every time a traffic signal is damaged by violence that comes with protest action, they have to find money to replace it, as it broken signals have a severe impact on road safety.

The money is usually taken from future projects, meaning projects are delayed and communities are robbed.

“Furthermore, the safety of our residents is also compromised and roads become congested, which causes huge delays and frustration for our residents and motorists.

“In some areas, intersections are repeatedly vandalised and this puts an added strain on our already strained resources. Each rectification activity takes several days to carry out,” Purchase said.

She said at times there are delays in fixing traffic infrastructure as some of the signals belong to the Western Cape government and the two spheres of government have to collaborate in finding the best way to rectify the situation.

“Also, Eskom supplies electricity to some of the intersections. All of these factors impact on the time it takes to do repair work, or to replace stolen infrastructure,” Purchase said.

She urged residents to take all these factors into consideration when they become frustrated by the repairs of traffic signals.

Residents have also been urged to report suspicious activity or when they witness the theft and or vandalism of infrastructure.

African News Agency (ANA)

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