WATCH | Man steals Joburg traffic light to sell at scrapyard

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  • Joburg's traffic signals are "systematically being cut down and sold off", according to the roads agency.
  • A representative of the agency bemoaned the theft and vandalism.
  • A video of a man carrying a traffic light pole was shared on social media.

The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) bemoaned the theft and vandalism of infrastructure in response to a video of a man carrying a traffic light pole.

He was allegedly en route to a Roodepoort scrapyard.

"It [the theft and vandalism of road infrastructure] is very severe. Certainly, we see a huge spike in infrastructure damage and theft," JRA spokesperson Bertha Peters-Scheepers told News24 on Thursday. 

The video was filmed by Lwanda Bini, an onlooker, on Wednesday. 

"On [stolen] traffic signals, we find that everything is stripped. Everything that can be stripped is stripped ... our city infrastructure, especially our road infrastructure, is being stripped little bit by little bit," Peters-Scheepers added. 

She said the agency would investigate the incident caught on camera. 

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Over the past two months, approximately 50 signalised intersections in Johannesburg had been impacted by vandalism and theft, according to Peters-Scheepers, with criminals cutting down poles, stealing copper cables and stripping signal controllers.

Bini told News24 he was so outraged by the assailant's behaviour that he and other locals confronted the man. 

"We asked him where he was going to take it [the traffic light pole], and he told us he was going to sell it at the Princess informal settlement scrapyard.

"I told him to put it back where he took it [from] because it was municipal property, and no one had the right to sell these things."

A longstanding issue

Earlier this month, Johannesburg councillor Michael Sun voiced concern about the rampant theft and vandalism of municipal infrastructure.

"This situation breaks my heart; cable theft and infrastructure vandalism are killing service delivery across the country." 



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