Many roads in darkness

2017-06-12 14:15
According to nearby residents, these two municipal workers lay like this for about 45 minutes after 9?am last Thursday. The picture was captured on the corner of Cyprus Way and Olive Crescent in Newholmes.

According to nearby residents, these two municipal workers lay like this for about 45 minutes after 9?am last Thursday. The picture was captured on the corner of Cyprus Way and Olive Crescent in Newholmes. (Supplied)

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More streets of Msunduzi are shrouded in darkness and residents see no light at the end of the tunnel.

Amid reports that general maintenance of the City’s electricity infrastructure is collapsing, some residents complain about lights burning by day, while others do not shine at all. While residents admit power outages are repaired soon enough, they point out the street lights remain off.

Neighbourhood patrols and residents say dark street lights contribute to crime at night.

As the saying goes, “when the lights go out ...” the monsters come out to play.

In the case of the streets where the lights remain off, the “monsters” are the opportunistic criminals who prey on unsuspecting residents in the dark.

Rajez Keshav said the lack of street lights on Burger Street and Davis Lane near the City’s legal and medical centre has resulted in many elderly people living in the area becoming easy targets.

“I have seen many elderly people from the nearby homes get robbed when they shop at the nearby store in the evening,” he said.

Keshav said he had reported the problem to the municipality on numerous occasions and even has a list of municipal reference numbers to support his claim.

“I have many times tried to communicate with Msunduzi Municipality to repair the street lights, which was just changed to the new type of lights about a year ago.

“All of it falls on deaf ears and nothing is done about it,” Keshav said.

In another instance, municipal workers allegedly abandoned repairing a leaking sewer pipe because they could not see without street lights at night.

Farouk Ally said that raw sewage was overflowing for about 120 hours recently near Isabel Beardmore Drive.

“The sanitation team arrived on Friday just as it was getting dark and left without resolving the problem.

“Their work was probably hampered by the quantity of sewage coming out of the manhole and by the lack of visibility as the street lights between our house and Golf Road have not worked for months,” Ally said.

In Copesville, a concerned member of the community said it was now almost nine months that they have had no street lights on Aventurine Way.

In a letter to the municipality and Witness Warriors, the resident said the “strange” part was the municipality erected four lights on roads that are close to the informal settlements in Copesville.

“We cannot get a street light working yet there are lights made available for people who don’t pay for electricity and water,” said the frustrated resident.

“The crime is unbearable now because it is dark in the road. We can’t sleep at night. I am not sure who’s fault this is.

“All we want is for the road to be lit up at night,” she said.

In Hilton, Gaynor Boreham said despite the many complaints about the non-operating street lights in Hilton Avenue, “nothing is done about it”.

“The lights over the Hilton on- and off-ramps haven’t worked for years.

“Considering the proximity of the Hilton Hospital, this results in a very dangerous entrance to Monzali Drive and is unacceptable,” said Boreham.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za
Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  witness warrior

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