Department takes 6 years to fix street lights

Graham Gersbach MPL

DA Spokesperson on Roads

MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi, has indicated that lights along Atlas Road in Ekurhuleni – which have been out for six years, will only be attended to in December 2014.

The MEC stated that his department only became aware of the problem in 2013; however the DA Ward Councillor, Andre du Plessis,  for Ward 23 – through which Atlas Road runs, has been constantly dealing with the issue for years. In 2013 the MEC said that repairs were done and vandalism and theft took place immediately afterwards. Residents and the ward councillor have no proof of that short term repair.

Cable theft and vandalism of mini substations and transformers in the area have been cited as the problem for the outages. Whilst cable theft is a massive problem in Gauteng, this is becoming a standard response for problems which are much more complex than the department cares to admit.

The truth of the matter is that the department does not have adequate supplies to update and repair the lights on Atlas Road. It is for the same reason why repairs to lights along the R24 Albertina Sisulu Highway have still not been completed.

The department needs to put preventative measures in place to safeguard its assets and ensure that it delivers on its mandate. It also needs to keep stock of components so that extensive delays do not put motorists at risk.

The DA will write to the MEC and request that his department liaise with the department of Community Safety to formulate a strategy to safeguard its assets, and also question why critical components are not on hand to ensure the proper functioning of streetlights and high-rise masts.