Why are some Durban street lights on 24 hours a day ask angry residents
Effingham resident Kamal Sookul was peeved that his street light had been on day and night for more than a year.
“I complained to the city in March 2019. Since then I’ve made umpteen calls to the city’s electricity department. Either they don’t answer the phone or they are not interested in logging the fault.
“This is a waste of resources. On the other hand, we have to deal with load shedding,” he said.
Merebank resident Kiddo Naidoo said he had noticed that most street lights in Durban’s south basin remained on all day.
“It’s been going on for five weeks. The public must demand an explanation from the municipality. Heads must roll. We are paying exorbitant bills. When I phoned the electricity department, an employee had the audacity to ask me why I was concerned, because it was not coming out of my bill,” Naidoo said.
Merebank ward councillor Aubrey Snyman said the matter and allegation about the staff member had been reported to the head of electricity for investigation.
eThekwini municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the delay in repairing the Effingham street light would be investigated. He said a team would be sent out to repair it.
“City street lights are fitted with sensors that enable the lights to switch themselves on at night and off when day breaks. If street lights are on for 24 hours, that means the lights are faulty. We urge residents to report these lights to the city so they can be fixed,” Mayisela said.
The city was concerned about the waste of electricity, he said, adding that it adopted a wide range of energy-efficiency technologies as part of a long-term strategy to conserve energy. The municipality has approximately 200000 street lights, the bulk of which use high-pressure mercury vapour and high-pressure sodium globes.
“A pilot project was run that saw the conversion of approximately 600000 old street lights with light-emitting diodes (LEDs). This resulted in a saving of approximately 680000 kilowatt-hours a year,” Mayisela said.
The eThekwini municipality asked residents to report faulty street lights to the Electricity Service Unit by calling the contact centre at 0801313111.
“Residents should provide the operator with as much information as possible to ensure the faulty light/s can be easily located, and should obtain a fault reference number from the operator. This can be used to track the status of the query and all related remedial activities.”