Buffalo City Metro allocates R13 million to street lighting

MAY 20, 2016

R13 million to maintain and install street lights has been set aside by the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality to reduce the rate of crime in and around the City especially in informal settlements.

The maintenance and the lack of street lights has been one of the issues raised by the resident during the draft Integrated Development Plant (IDP) and Budget roadshows, the municipality said.

Project Manager Jean Smit said, “The aim of the project is to improve lighting levels and save energy within the areas of the Metro as well as to meet government policy of access to safe electricity for all.”

In addressing the challenges faced by residents in certain areas when it is dark Smit said they have assembled a team that go at night to check the hot spots.

“We have a seven day maintenance programme where there’s a spotting team that drives around at night to identify all the maintenance that needs to be done. They then submit their findings to the maintenance team to do the work in the morning.”

Smit said at least 156 highmast lights have been erected and completed at the moment in the costal, inland and midland and that makes 63 percent of work that has been done.”

He added that an additional 248 installations of highmast lights is anticipated to be completed in the current financial year.

“The highmast lights that we install are 14 meters long to make it difficult for illegal connects and vandalism.”

The programme has kicked off in three areas that include Mdantsane, Duncan Village and Dimbaza.

Another project that the section is currently working on is the installation of concrete poles for the street lights along the Black Road.

“Due to the vandalism that is happening in Ziphunzana Bypass. We have started installing concrete poles for the street lighting in Duncan Village, Gompo and Buffalo Flats to put a stronger electricity supply.” said Smit.

However, he said illegal connections are a huge challenge in Ziphunzana and as a result three street lights are not working.

“Already there are three lights in the Ziphunzana Bypass that are off due to illegal connections and electricity theft.”

He said the section do not put street lights and highmast in informal settlements for safety purposes as they damage the electrical network, electricity theft and according to the law due to vandalism.

“The electricity department is currently electrifying informal areas that meet the approved Council criteria.”

 The project has created job opportunities for BCMM residents said Smit.

“BCMM residents are being employed by contractors that are hired by the Metro to do those electrification projects.”

Smit added that there is not enough budget to cover all the areas of BCMM, “if we can have more budget we can do more projects.” he adds.

Illegal connections have been the cause of several deaths and have caused a very unsafe working environment for the department to work.”

Any electricity fault can be reported on 043 742 1437 before 8pm and after 8pm you can call the Call Centre on 043 742 2131.