Streetlights better on, says City

2015-05-06 09:31
The City of Cape Town says Beacon Valley residents should not be concerned by the streetlights burning in the area during the day. 

Samantha LEE

The City of Cape Town says Beacon Valley residents should not be concerned by the streetlights burning in the area during the day. PHOTO: Samantha LEE

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Streetlights have been kept alight in Beacon Valley as a deterrent following numerous cable thefts and vandalism in the area.

People’s Post has been informed of streetlights kept on in Alpine Street and on an open field in Lords Street but also throughout Beacon Valley.

A resident, who asked not to be named, says he is concerned that the cost to keep the lights burning may directly affect the ratepayers’ pockets.

This is a misconception, says Ernest Sonnenberg, mayoral committee member for utility services, as the lights are kept on and managed by the City of Cape Town.

“The cost of keeping the lights on is minor compared with the cost of having to repair or replace infrastructure that has been vandalised. The cost of the reinstatement of these services can be in excess of R25 000 for one incident,” he says.

The lights referred to by the residents are five floodlights on the open field in Lords Street and all the streetlights in Beacon Valley. The resident’s concern was that the City did not know the lights were still on.

“Yes, [we are aware that the lights are burning]. The City controls both the streetlights and public lighting in this area,” he says. The floodlights were installed at the request of residents. “[These floodlights were installed] to improve the safety of those crossing the field. They are kept on in order to prevent vandalism, which has been an issue in the past,” he says.

Although the lights are kept burning to fend off cable thieves, there are steps residents can take should they want the lights switched off during the day. “Residents should discuss this with their ward councillor or broach this at their local subcouncil meetings,” Sonnenberg says.

He asks residents to bear in mind that lights are kept on during the day as a deterrent to thieves. “It must be emphasised that the cost of reinstating the infrastructure dwarfs the cost of keeping the lights on 24 hours a day. Given the prevalence of vandalism in this area, keeping the lights on is a significantly better economic decision.”


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