Msunduzi combats theft of batteries

2013-04-15 00:00

VEHICLE battery theft, once rife at Msunduzi Municipality, has been brought down to zero.

Municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi told the Executive Committee (Exco) on Thursday that for the first time in years, not a single battery had to be replaced in the past month. Nkosi was presenting the municipality’s fleet management report. He said this was because of the anti-theft device that was fitted to municipal vehicles. The device was also linked to the vehicle battery and raised an alarm if anyone attempted to remove it.

Last year, councillors were shocked to learn from the municipality’s insurance report that it had to pay out close to R400 000 as a result of the actions of its own employees, which included widespread battery theft.

Mayor Chris Ndlela recalled a case where a municipal employee claimed that two batteries were stolen from two different municipal vehicles he was using on the same day. “Two different vehicles, one driver, a similar case. No, no, no. How does a battery get stolen [from under] a bonnet?” Ndlela asked at the time.

Nkosi had predicted then that when the municipality had fitted its fleet with tracking and anti-theft devices — a system to counter abuse — the theft of batteries from municipal vehicles would be a thing of the past. He said that with battery replacement down to zero, the municipality was beginning to see the difference.

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