Northdale dark street a crime target

2011-03-10 00:00

RESIDENTS of Heron Place, a street in Northdale, are fed up with being victims of break-ins and blame the Msunduzi Municipality for neglecting to provide street lighting for more than five years.

Angry resident Neville Sewlall said the municipality has failed for many years to provide working light bulbs for the only two lamp-posts in a street with 19 homes.

As a result, said Sewlall, the home owners, most of whom are senior citizens, have become victims of crimes like burglaries and car break-ins.

Another resident, Peru Pillay (66), said his house was burgled in December and his car was broken into on Wednesday last week, along with three other cars belonging to his neighbours

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan confirmed both incidents. She said R11 000 worth of appliances and goods were stolen in December and on Wednesday last week Pillay’s car was damaged.

“I used to go to church on Thursdays, but now I don’t go because I am scared,” said Pillay.

“It gets pitch-black by the time I return home from church and I have to get out of the car and open the gate.”

Sewlall said that although streets above theirs have their street lights on all day long, their street gets so dark that one cannot even see a car parked outside the yard.

One resident even opted to install his own floodlights after his car was broken into, to discourage the criminals from entering his yard.

The residents said they have complained to the municipality on numerous occasions, but their cries fall on deaf ears.

They said their ward councillor, Manilal Indirjit, has never set foot in their street since being elected.

Manilal said he is unaware of the Heron Place problem, adding that he will “definitely act on it soon”.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Brian Zuma said the Northdale area is covered in terms of the street lighting programme that the council has undertaken.

He assured the residents that their street would be lit within a matter of weeks.

He attributed the delay to the effect of budget constraints on maintenance.

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