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Vandalism and Theft and Its Impact on Capital Infrastructure and Service Delivery in the City of Johanensburg

Autor:   •  March 29, 2018  •  1,979 Words (8 Pages)  •  419 Views

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targeted by vandalism and theft. Johannesburg’s Bus Rapid Transport operator Rea Vaya experiences annual losses of between R5 and R7 million due to fibre and camera theft as well as illegal power connections.

“Criminals mistakenly target our cable system in search of copper only to discover fibre with no resale value. Once cut, the damage is done and up to 20 000 passengers are inconvenienced daily as a result of our loading systems and the Wi-Fi being inoperable. We also experience illegal connections being made to our high voltage power supplies which is extremely dangerous,” said Rea Vaya Intelligent Transport Systems Manager, Mpho Manenzhe. `

Manenzhe suggested that in order to ensure minimal potential inconvenience as a result of the loading system being inoperable, commuters should pre-load weekly or monthly.

“The Rea Vaya network is an interconnected series of stations. One interruption to the fibre as a result of cable tampering has a ripple effect to the rest of the stations on the line and our reliability and service is hampered. Despite having solar cameras on route as well patrolling security, we do still experience issues especially in hotspot areas such as Boom Town and Industria West. Our solar cameras are also targeted by thieves with 15 of the 30 solar cameras installed repeatedly stolen. The City has provided first-rate infrastructure and services to all citizens of Johannesburg and will continue to strive to do so. My appeal is for all citizens to properly respect these beneficial services,” said Manenzhe.

Metrobus’ quarterly report from January to March 2014 reveals an average annual loss of R15 million a year as a result of theft and inoperable services due to breakdowns and vandalism and theft while on break down. SY- Found this through research but was unable to get a more recent tally. Dreyer didn’t give me a final amount.

Metrobus spokesman Esther Dreyer said vandalism of bus seats by school learners was also problematic and posed huge losses, impacting the quality of service.

“Damage to the seating is costly to repair and unsightly, thereby tarnishing our corporate image. While seats are repaired, the bus is out of service which negatively impacts on our bus service,” said Dreyer.

She said in such incidences where seats were being vandalised by school learners and the driver was able to identify the school, consultations were made with the school as well as parents to halt the behaviour.

“We have also had incidences of our buses being damaged or destroyed during service delivery protests. Metrobus has also found that our buses are targeted whilst awaiting repairs if they are on break down with the batteries removed and stolen. Replacing just one of these batteries costs an average of R2 500, it adds up,” said Dreyer.

Johannesburg’s open green spaces are also not immune to theft and vandalism. Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo spokesman, Jenny Moodley said vandalism disrupted services and hampered accessibility to facilities.

“Vandalised assets need to often be channelled through the insurance process which has financial and resource implications for the JCPZ and the City. More importantly, it impacts on the reputation of the City and the JCPZ. Another concern is the fact that vandalised equipment may cause injury to park users,” said Moodley. Infrastructure and assets commonly targeted in open spaces and parks include ablutions, fencing, electrical equipment, trees, plumbing, buildings, play equipment, water features, tombstones and green gyms

On-site security providers have been contracted at several facilities to prevent vandalism and JCPZ’s Park Rangers together with the JMPD conduct random patrols to secure these spaces. Moodley said the JCPZ had also instituted a widespread education campaign to educate school going users on accepted behaviour in parks and at the Zoo.

Moodley did not provide a loss value as a result of theft and vandalism.

Waste management entity, Pikitup incurs losses as a result of vandalism and damage to street furniture as well as the misuse and theft of wheelie bins. Spokesperson for Pikitup, Pansy Oyedele-Jali said Johannesburg’s cleanliness was affected as a result of accidental and intentional damage to street bins, especially during times of protest action.

“In order to curb this ongoing issue we have instituted an agreement with trade unions that damages incurred during strike and protest actions will be invoiced to the said trade union for payment. Another huge loss for the City is the replacement of misused and stolen wheelie-bins,” said Oyedele-Jali.

She appealed to residents to report stolen bins to both SAPS and the City’s call centre in order for Pikitup to map theft and vandalism trends.

“By being able to map hotspot areas we will be able to put preventative measures in place to curb theft such as increased patrols and community involvement. It is crucial that all residents reporting stolen bins retain their reference number from the call centre for follow-ups if they are required,” added Oyedele-Jali.

Oyedele-Jali did not provide a value for losses Pikitup incurred as a result of vandalism and theft.

Anyone with information on activities of vandalism and theft is requested to contact the City of Johannesburg’s Call Centre 0860 562 874 or report these criminal activities to the SAPS or JMPD.

Residents should be on lookout for suspicious construction vehicles working on the electrical network whether marked or unmarked and report them to the City Power Control Room which is open 24hrs a day on 011 490 7911/00/7553 or toll free at 0800 003 251.

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