After seven months of phone calls and messages, and a lot of money spent on airtime, a Bridgetown pensioner is relieved that the lights in her road have finally been switched on.
Priscilla Whittle, 71, from Robin Court, believes it was only because of the Athlone News’ query to the City of Cape Town that the lights were switched on.
Seven months ago, new electric poles were erected in the area, and while the rest of the area’s lights were on, residents of Robin Court were left in the dark.
According to Ms Whittle, the darkness led to opportunistic crimes.
“There have been an increase of thefts in our road. It has become dangerous. We have a lot of elderly people living here and it is not fair on them. There are 11 lights here that needed to be switched on months ago, but even after all the times I have called to complain, it was never done. The old lights that is still in the court, are very dull and it is very dark here when the lights are off. I got no joy complaining about it. Every time I had to buy airtime on credit on one of my store accounts,” Ms Whittle said.
Another resident, who wants to remain anonymous, said he was almost robbed twice during the time the lights were off.
“The crime is getting bad here. We spent so much money on securing our homes. We have had enough now. The next time someone comes to rob here, we will be forced to take the law into our own hands,” he said.
On Thursday April 25, when the Athlone News visited the area, the lights were still not working. On the same day we asked the City to explain why it had not been switched on.
Phindile Maxiti, the City’s mayoral committee member for energy and climate change, said the new street lights did not work because a sensor component was stolen.
The following day, Friday April 26, the lights were switched on.
Residents who would like to submit a service request, report a fault or log an issue can do so via the City’s Customer Call Centre at 0860 103 109, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by sending an SMS to 31220.