Municipal facilities at the beachfront have recently been vandalised for the fourth time in a span of 12 months – this time shortly after almost R100 000 was spent repairing damage from the previous incident.
Members of the Summerstrand and Humewood Neighbourhood Watch discovered the most recent act of vandalism during one of their patrols where the new roof installed at King’s Beach Block B ablutions was vandalised.
Thieves also stole four taps, a basin and the roof sheeting used to gain entrance to the structure, totaling damage to the value of approximately R30 000.
Ward 2 Councillor, Renaldo Gouws, said that the surge of vandalism is unfortunately just continuing on the beachfront.
“They have stolen more copper and goods that can be sold on the secondhand market. The safety and security cluster is in the process of approving a plan. They are working with the beach director,” Gouws said.
Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality spokesperson, Mamela Ndamase, said that this act of vandalism comes shortly after the recent installation of three roofs that were damaged as a result of vandalism and rust. The installation had cost the municipality about R85 000.
When asked what the way forward was in terms of curbing vandalism, especially at the beachfront, MMC for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (SRAC), Helga van Staaden, said that the municipality had opted to fit alarms not only to depots and offices but also to include ablution facilities.
“Repeated acts of vandalism and theft of municipal property are wreaking havoc on the city’s finances, diverting funds that could be used to improve service delivery to replace damaged public property,” Van Staaden said.
In August last year, PE Express reported about the state of utter disrepair at the beachfront and how Gouws was afraid that it could cost the beach its Blue Flag status.
The vandalism was restricted to the male toilets, where copper pipes were stolen, urinals damaged and sand and various types of waste strewn over the floor.
Outside the building, copper pipes were stolen from the shower taps and the small room where, before lockdown,- vendors would usually sell their goods, was also broken into and vandalised.
The councillor’s office had also been broken into.
In February this year, the NMBM started refurbishments and implemented new security measures.
Van Staaden said that approximately R400 000 was spent on the toilet facilities at King’s Beach.
Windows were reinforced, new locks added to toilet gates and copper pipes were replaced with plastic ones.
This however, did not deter vandals and thieves, and residents are once again encouraged to report criminal activity on municipal property.
This can be done anonymously by calling 041 506 5500.