Lights could stay on in gang infested areas during blackouts

2015-05-19 20:45
(Shutterstock)

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - The City of Cape Town is exploring the option of keeping street lights on during power outages to help with policing, specifically in Manenberg, Hanover Park and Ottery, a move welcomed by residents of the gang-ridden Cape Flats 

Mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, told News24 on Tuesday that solutions being explored included limiting blackouts to daylight hours and keeping street lights on during outages.

Smith said patrols and night raids were “virtually impossible” in the dark as officers were unable to see where crime was being committed or who was responsible.

“Over the weekend, the situation was so out of hand we were forced to withdraw in Manenberg. We are still in the process of exploring the options with the utilities department, but hope to be able to roll out the plan by July.”

While no analysis had been done to determine if crime increased during blackouts, the dark provided the perfect cover for criminals, said Mitchell’s Plain Community Policing Forum chairperson, Michael Jacobs.

The cluster covers the province’s most gang-plagued areas including Manenberg, Hanover Park, Tafelsig, Lentegeur, Grassy Park and Lavender Hill.

“There’s no denying that when the lights go out, the streets are like booby traps,” he said. “The power outages give those with bad intentions the perfect opportunity to roam freely. Gangsters will find their rivals and thieves will find easy targets. People living in [gang strongholds] are limited to staying indoors to keep safe. This is the sad reality.”

Nothing good happens after dark in Manenberg, resident Lorraine Manuel agreed.

“The gangsters, thieves and robbers come out of their hiding places like cockroaches,” she said.

“You feel the tension in this community during load-shedding periods. In the dark, you can’t see what’s waiting for you. The only people out on the street are people with bad intentions.”

About 2km away in Hanover Park, Edwin Roelof told a similar story. “A night without shots ringing out is practically unheard of,” he said.

“In the dark, the skollies [thugs] play cowboys and crooks. You hear the bangs as if the shots are being fired right outside your door. But all you can do is byt vas [hold on] and stay away from the doors and windows. There’s no point in looking out, you can’t see anything. You won’t even see your death coming if a stray bullet pierces your home.”

Tafelsig pensioner Joan Engelbrecht said she would welcome any plan to keep some lights on during power outages.

“To the people living in the suburbs, load-shedding is an inconvenience. Here, where we live, it’s life threatening.”

Read more on:    cape town  |  load shedding

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
47 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.