Cape Town - The Goodwood Ratepayers and Residents Association has called on residents to be on the lookout for anyone with stolen metal. This as the area has been hit hard by an increase in the incidence of metal theft.
Association chairperson Faizel Petersen said the impact of theft on metal infrastructure was a major and ongoing concern, as for many years manhole covers, gates, taps, gate motors, and other metal items that could be sold for scrap, had been stolen.
“We saw that the cabling that provides electricity to street lights on Voortrekker Road from Jakes Gerwel up to 18th Avenue, Kensington, was completely ripped out during the end of last year, leaving that entire strip of road in complete darkness.
“I also dealt with a case in Epping Industria, where trolley pushers were seen on CCTV removing a gulley lid and carting it off,” he said.
Petersen said “trolley pushers” in the area were part of the problem, as the trolleys were a means with which to move stolen items around easily. However, he said police and law enforcement were not pro-actively dealing with the matter in the area, and retailers refused to lay criminal charges when trolleys were stolen.
Petersen said metal theft was further exacerbated by an illegal scrap industry.
“Our formal scrap industries know about the consequences for buying such scrap, so they rarely ever buy such items, so therefore the illegal market is what’s fuelling the problem, and we need these places to be shut down completely, and the owners to be criminally prosecuted to ensure we shut down the supply and demand,” he said.
Petersen said while available information obtained through tracking and monitoring had been shared with law enforcement clusters, they appealed to the public to be vigilant and report metal theft to the police, and not support the horse and cart/trolley operators in the area.
“We all need to make a living, however, we cannot be supporting persons who vandalise and steal infrastructure, which poses safety and security risks to our community.
“The City is forking out millions annually to replace damaged and stolen infrastructure, money that could have been used to provide decent housing to those in need, to resurface our roads, to grant relief to residents in terms of tariffs and rates,” Petersen said.
The Goodwood Community Policing Forum said it had not received any formal communication regarding these concerns and was not at liberty to comment.