City searches for missing roadside barrier locations

2014-06-10 00:00

METRO police and the eThekwini Metro roads department are searching for areas where an alleged scrap metal syndicate have removed roadside barriers illegally.

This comes after nearly 50 tons of road barriers were found at the port ready for export to India and at a Chatsworth scrap dealership last week.

It has been estimated the city will need to spend more than R10 million to replace the stolen railings.

And residents have been urged to report any missing roadside barriers in their neighbourhoods in order to help the city find the areas that may have been stripped.

Durban Metro’s Captain Greg Beavon said while the investigation continues they have found that the roadside barriers were stripped from a variety of city roads.

“We have found some of the railings were taken from the M19, M7, Umbilo, at various locations of the R102 and the kwaMashu Highway. We are busy checking out new locations. It seems as if the operation moved around a fair bit.”

Beavon said some of the railings belong to municipal roads while others were the property of Sanral.

The company found to be doing the stripping, MTN Logistics, has denied having acted illegally, claiming it had merely responded to a digital classified on Gumtree.co.za by a company called Umbutu Developments that claimed to have authority from Sanral.

The scrap dealer Sunset Metals has said they had “no idea” the barriers were being sold to them illegally, claiming MTN Logistics had provided paperwork that was certified by the Chatsworth police station.

Sunset Metals bought the alleged stolen scrap for just R130 000.

The details for Umbutu all appear to be fake, including the VAT number, company registration number, address, telephone number; and according to the Companies Intellectual Property Commission, the company does not exist.

Sanral was unable to comment at the time of going to press.

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