A drive through the streets of Ballito and Salt Rock at night reveals that more than 424 street lights are out of order.
In April KwaDukuza municipality announced that they would appoint a contractor to tackle this issue as KDM’s own team could not hope to tackle the multitude of faulty street lights throughout the municipality.
Ward 22 councilor Malcolm Hubner said there had even been a plan to get the contractor from Ethekwini to take on KwaDukuza’s street lights. This idea, according to Hubner, has since been put on ice.
“KDM is currently in the tender process to appoint a contractor, they have received the tender applications and are busy adjudicating who to award the contract to.”
Both Ballito and Salt Rock neighbourhood watches have been keeping track of faulty street lights as this is a major security issue.
“The neighbourhood watches report them to us, and we take these reports back to KDM,” said Hubner.
Ballito Neighbourhood Watch chairperson Candice Henderson said they had exhausted every appropriate reporting protocol available to try and assist residents on the street light issue.
In the last comprehensive count in June 264 lights were not working in Ballito: 40% of all the lights in town.
“The number will be higher by now as we have received reports on our street cluster groups of more that have stopped working since then,” she said.
In the last count by the Salt Rock Neighbourhood Watch in August, 160 lights were faulty.
Also read: Spotlight on Dolphin Coast street lights
Hubner said as councilors they were putting pressure on KDM to tackle this problem.
He said maintenance on street lights was carried out by a technical team from KDM on a rotational schedule between the wards, so if they have just moved on from one area, work will first take place at all the other wards before coming back around.
KDM spokesperson Sipho Mkhize told the Courier that the municipality’s own technical services had issued a notice to start work in Ballito and Salt Rock on October 30, subject to favourable weather.
It could not be confirmed whether the team had started tackling the mammoth task ahead of them.
Meanwhile residents are complaining bitterly about the apparent lack of action on the problem.
“It is so unsafe at night,” said Sheffield resident Linda du Plessis.”
As a woman alone, you don’t feel comfortable driving in the darkness because anything could jump out at you.”
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