City lights on all day

2018-06-21 16:47
Street lights stay on during the day on Balhambra Way, Northdale, on Wednesday.

Street lights stay on during the day on Balhambra Way, Northdale, on Wednesday. (Nhlanhla Nkosi)

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While large parts of the city are currently in darkness, in many other areas the street lights blaze all day long.

As the country braces itself for load shedding, The Witness on Wednesday afternoon found lines of street lights on in broad daylight in parts of the CBD, Scottsville and Northdale.

Some are right under the gaze of the city hall.

Street lights were burning bright along Chief Albert Luthuli Street, Ridge Road in Scottsville, and Balhambra Way and Newholmes Way, Northdale.

On Monday The Witness reported on residents’ complaints about broken street lights in several areas, said to be contributing to increases in crime under the cover of darkness.

Concerned residents have criticised Msunduzi for waste at a time when people are being advised to use electricity wisely.

City spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha, however, said on Wednesday that Msunduzi was not aware of the matter, but would investigate.

“We are currently waiting for a supply of automated lights that can switch on and off by themselves as a permanent solution,” she said.

But Kantha Naidoo, chairperson of the Msunduzi Economic Development Agency (Meda), which does extensive work with businesses in the CBD, was shocked that the City was unaware of the issue. “It’s staring them in their faces­,­” she said.

Naidoo said businesses were bracing themselves for “lots of issues” during load shedding, like down time and the costs that go with running generators.

“We’ll be asked to consume [electricity] wisely but they [the municipality] are not, so what’s the point? They are shooting themselves in the foot. It’s totally frustrating that they aren’t being more responsible,” she said.

Dr Peter Green, chairperson of the Scottsville Ratepayers’ Association, said: “We’re very upset because we are doing all we can to limit consumption but we don’t see the same earnestness from the municipality.

“We try to report this problem through the call centre but you need to try several times before you actually get through to someone. How is it that some lights are left on and others work as they should? I’m sure it can’t be that difficult to operate street lights.”

The Witness has reported on several problems concerning street lights in the last year. It was reported that half of Jupiter Road, in Northdale, was without lights for several months, while the other half had lights on all day.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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