Solar lights target of criminals

2015-05-06 06:00
A pole of a solar-powered light lies across a yard. The solar panel and battery are missing.

A pole of a solar-powered light lies across a yard. The solar panel and battery are missing.

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CRIMINALS are having a field day with the solar-powered street lights erected in the small township of Dipelaneng, Hobhouse.

Erected in 2012 at a combined cost of R4,5 million for Dipelaneng, Thaba Phatshwa and Borwa, only a few of the electricity saving lights remain in Dipelaneng. Mohlomi Mokoatsi, communications manager for the Mantsopa municipality, says the municipality is aware of the thefts.

“The theft happens at night and although community members say they have not seen anything, somebody must have seen something. Apparently the market for these panels and batteries is in Lesotho,” Mokoatsi says. Dipelaneng borders Lesotho.

Mokoatsi says the theft has become worse in the last three weeks or so and this has also now added to the general crime situation in the area as criminals take advantage of the darkness.

“We are convinced of there being a market for these lights in Lesotho as the same lights put up in Borwa (Tweespruit) are still there, while we have also received reports of some also being stolen in Botshabelo,” he said.

At least two residents of the town Express spoke to asked that their names not be published although they expressed their unhappiness about the rampant thefts.

“What these thieves are doing, is really disadvantaging us especially because even if there is no power supply, those lights stay on,” said the one

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