Pro-active and responsive governance is one of the practical indications that the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is committed to fulfil one of its key promises, namely creating a Safe City. Since January this year, the Municipality’s Electricity and Energy Directorate has spent R35 million on an aggressive street light revamp project.
This project was initiated following the adoption of the City’s integrated development pillars. The pillars of the City’s Development Plan are to Create a Safe City; Create a Forward Thinking City; Create an Innovative City; Create a Well Run City; Create a Caring City; and Create an Inclusive City.
On the adoption of these pillars and based on the feedback that the City received from local communities, it was clear that street lighting was an area in need of urgent improvement towards creating a Safe City. So far, this successful project has covered the following areas: Daku Road, M17, Soweto on Sea, Bloemendal, Missionvale, Kleinskool, Njoli Road, Stanford Road and Ferguson Road.
All these areas cover predominantly the township and Northern Areas, which are leading the City in terms of crime statistics. M17 is a notorious high accident zone, also because of poor lighting along the road. Bloemendal and Kleinskool are some of the areas affected by gangster related killings, with more than 20 people having succumbed in the past three years.
Yesterday evening and today , June 15, 2018, the Mayoral Committee Member for Electricity and Energy, Councillor Masixole Zinto, led a delegation of the Standing Committee to inspect the work done and interact with the affected residents to understand the impact made by the project. The inspection also included newly revamped substations.
On inspection, Councillor Zinto indicated his satisfaction with the work completed thus far; however, he also cautioned that a lot more work still needed to be done.
“The areas were identified according to the assessment made, which included analysis of the crime statistics of Nelson Mandela Bay. These areas we had to urgently deal with because our people were getting robbed, injured and killed by criminals who run into the darkness and are never caught. We have to prioritise lighting up these areas. It must be noted that this administration is committed to boost the township and Northern Areas’ economy. It starts by creating an environment that is conducive to that: safety becomes key,” said Councillor Zinto.
This project will be rolled out to other areas of the City. Councillor Zinto called on communities to serve as the eyes and ears of the Municipality on the ground. “Our electricity infrastructure, including street lights, get vandalised and fiddled with for a number of reasons. Some fiddle with street light to do illegal connections, some steal cables, while some intentionally shoot or throw stones at the bulbs to create darkness in which they can perpetrate their criminal acts. We have interacted with the Metro Police about these criminal activities; they will not be tolerated,” said Cllr Zinto.
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