Over the last eight months members of EE, SJC and TAC have been monitoring the public lighting situation on Lansdowne Road. The table below shows the number of working lights along different stretches of Lansdowne Road. On 15 January 2013 only 11 out of 132 street lights were working. This improved to 41 working lights on 30 January 2013 and 116.5 working lights on 10 February 2013.
|TOTAL ERECTED LIGHTS||Working on 15/01/2012||Working on 30/01/2013||Working on 10/02/2013|
|Baden Powel to Cekeca Road||27||0||0||24|
|Cekeca Road to Lindela Road||10||0||0||10|
|Lindela Road to Oscar Mpetha Road||18||0||0||14|
|Oscar Mpetha Road to Steve Biko Road||8||2||2||8|
|Steve Biko Road to Spine Road||20||2||7||20|
|Bonga Road to Mew Way||25||4||24||17.5|
|Mew Way to Nolungile Train Station Bridge||24||3||8||23|
Last week the City claimed that in September 2012 lights with a life-span of 5 years were fitted in Khayelitsha and that this increased the area’s burning-rate to 80-95%. However, they have been unable to provide any evidence to support this claim, despite being asked to do so. Furthermore, the City’s claim that it is not feasible to install street lights along Lansdowne Road because of the Eskom medium voltage overhead power lines is disingenuous. The power lines only run along approximately 10 per cent of the section in question and would not prevent the City from installing street lights along the rest of the road.
EE, SJC and TAC look forward to further engagement with the City following their recent efforts to improve public lighting in Khayelitsha. In particular, we requested:
1. All streetlights that are currently dysfunctional must be repaired. We welcome the fact that the City has already begun this process.
2. The City must provide a plan to ensure that all streetlights remain operational. This must include regular monitoring and maintenance, as well as a plan to prevent criminals from stealing cables or vandalizing public property.
3. Where illegal electricity connections are hampering delivery, the City must meaningfully engage with affected residents to ensure that alternatives are found.
4. The City must provide a plan to install new streetlights along busy stretches of road where they currently do not exist.
5. The City must cooperate with the upcoming Commission of Inquiry into c=rime in Khayelitsha, as it is evident that a lack of street lighting (a municipal function) has a measurable effect on safety.