The Nelson Mandela Bay metro has resolved not to replace street lights in various Port Elizabeth areas, due to the continued theft of copper wire. Certain areas without lights are some of the most dangerous in the city.
The city loses R24 million per year due to copper theft. Victoria Drive one of the streets affected has plunged into darkness at night following the theft of copper wire. Street poles have also been vandalised. Motorists now have to contend with avoiding stray cattle in the dark and hooligans stoning cars.
SAPS’s Sandra Janse van Rensberg says: “The latest incident was a day ago and we have had regular reports of stone throwing in the area and we see it as a high risk area”
Target Kloof, a busy and dangerous winding road that cuts through the city has dozens of lights which are not working.
A source within the municipality says that lighting which is continuously vandalised won’t be replaced. The Municipality denies this. Metro Spokesperson Roland Williams says: “I am sure those lights will be on very soon. Yes the cause is cable theft and we don’t want to just replace, we want to ensure that when replaced they will be up permanently.”
The metro is considering alternative lighting methods.