MMC for Environment Infrastructure Services in the City of Johannesburg Cllr Mpho Moerane has vowed to ensure that streetlights are installed on every street across Johannesburg to contribute to curbing the scourge of gender-based violence (GBV).
Speaking during the switching on of streetlights along Hendrick Verwoerd Road in Roodepoort as the country is commemorating the annual 16 Days of Activism against women and children abuse, MMC Moerane said women and children are not safe in the dark streets of Joburg at night.
“We have the responsibility to ensure that each and every street has a streetlight because once we have the streetlights, it reduces crime. It becomes a safer city. We won't have safer cities unless we have streetlights.
“We are in the 16 days of Activism against gender-based violence, where women get raped at night in dark alleys where there are no streetlights. So it’s not only about making sure that there are lights, but making sure that we act to protect our residents,” MMC Moerane said.
A total of 590 LED streetlights were installed in all four main roads in the area, which are:
• Hendrik Potgieter
• Christian de Wet Road
• Poortview and
• Jim Fouche
The R10 million project, which started in September, also employed 57 local labourers.
Not only will these ensure safer neighbourhoods in the area, but will ensure that both road users, motorists and pedestrians are safe as well.
The MMC also called on communities to help the City to protect the streetlights against vandalism.
“There’s no point in us doing streetlights, and once we have put the streetlights, people come and vandalize them. We need to come up with ways to protect the streetlights and the infrastructure. Because if we continue to put up the streetlights without protecting them, it’s like we are wasting money. There are technologies that we can implement to ensure people do not steal and vandalise.
“If you drive around Johannesburg, most of the streetlights are vandalised, actually, they have been cut off, mowed down by criminals for whatever reason. It is a problem that we are faced with and we need to ensure that City Power invests in technology that ensures we safeguard our infrastructure. Residents should also assist us to ensure these precious assets are protected,” MMC Moerane added.
City Power has a fleet of over 300 000 streetlights across the City that it maintain daily. These include the streetlights in Eskom-supply areas such as Sandton, Soweto, Diepsloot and Orange Farm, among others.
City Power Acting CEO Nancy Maluleke said at the event that the utility will continue with research and deployment of new technologies that ensure there is less vandalism on streetlights.
"This is very important and we need to partner more with law enforcement agencies to ensure that we protect our infrastructure, sustain our assets and keep the lights on across the City," Maluleke said.
“To improve the efficiency of our street lights and ensure they last longer, we have budgeted R1billion as part of a long-term plan, which includes Retrofit Programme to install LED street lights, which are environmentally friendly lights like the ones we have installed here today,” Maluleke added.
The City has allocated R125million for the installation of new streetlights within the next three years, equating to 5 500 new streetlights to be installed, especially in the townships and new suburbs.
For this financial year the City has budgeted R30 million for the installation of new streetlights across Johannesburg, with another R30 million earmarked for retrofit programmes.