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Criminals win street light battle

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Sol refuses to repair lights until a solution can be found

FITTING: Electricity technicians, Bothatha Mothibi and Andrew Khoza installing new traffic lights at Nobengula and John Daka Streets.

CRIME in Kimberley appears to have gained the upper hand, with the Sol Plaatje Municipality admitting defeat in the battle to keep the street lights on.

Sol Plaatje spokesperson, Sello Matsie, said yesterday that the provision of street lights in some areas, particularly along the road to the Kimberley Airport, had proved to be near impossible.

“Each time we repair the lights, the cables are stolen – not only the cables linking the lights but even the cable going up the pole to the fittings. We have eventually just decided to give up. We cannot keep spending money on replacing the cables when they are repeatedly stolen.”

Matsie added that the thieves simply waited for the lights to be fixed before pouncing again. “If we replace the cables one day, the next day they are gone.

“We also cannot appoint security guards to monitor the street on a nightly basis.

Battle

“This seems to be a battle we cannot win. As a result, a decision was taken not to repair the lights until another solution can be found.”

He said that the municipality was looking at installing solar lights. “However, this is a costly exercise and we do not have the available funds currently.”

As a result, the road, which leads from the Kimberley Airport into Oliver Road is pitch dark at night.

“It is not an ideal situation but our hands are tied. Because it is so dark the road is dangerous, which is not ideal because it carries VIPs and visitors into the city.”

Matsie appealed to residents to drive with caution when using the road.

The municipality meanwhile installed new traffic lights at the corner of Nobengula and John Daka streets yesterday.

According to Matsie, three additional four-way stops will also be fitted with new traffic lights in the near future.

These include the intersection of Seochoareng and Magashula streets, while right-turn robots will be installed at the intersection of Lennox and Du Toitspan streets and the intersection of Long and Waterworks streets.