Of late, Newcastle residents are finding themselves contending with pitch-black neighbourhoods due to streetlights being off.
Speaking on the subject, Ward Councillor Matthew Shunmugam stresses it is not an isolated incident restricted to one specific area. “Most suburbs are affected by the problem. I get complaints about it daily, and the matter has been raised.” Additionally, he says the municipality has assured the matter will be addressed.
Municipality Head of Communications confirms the statement, Mlungisi Khumalo, who states, “The Newcastle Municipality is aware of the problem, and a plan has been put into place to address the issue.”
Looking at the matter’s cause, Khumalo points out the installation of fibre cables throughout the suburbs impacted the town’s infrastructure in various ways—with the functionality of the streetlights being the most evident. It is this set-up; municipal teams are now addressing throughout the community’s suburbs.
As the Newcastle Municipality addresses the problem, SAPS Corporate Communications and Liaison Officer, Lizzy Arumugam, highlights a safety aspect one needs to be aware of, “This is especially problematic when people drive at night. Motorists should be vigilant when stopping at stop streets. Also, avoid keeping valuables on your car seat when driving.”
Arumugam further urges community members to practise caution when returning home after nightfall—due to potential lawbreakers taking advantage of the darkness and hiding outside yards.
To report streetlights which are not working in your suburb, Newcastillians can visit the Newcastle Municipality’s website and acquire the necessary contact information.
Click here to go through to the municipality’s site: Newcastle.gov.za
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Authors: Quinton Boucher
Edited: Calvin Swemmer