EThekwini Municipality fixes streetlights in Bester at last

Community policing forum members says better lit streets will make crime prevention and patrols easier

By Tsoanelo Sefoloko

3 July 2023

Municipality workers repair streetlights in the community of Bester near KwaMashu in Durban this week. Residents say they were living in the dark for a long time. Photo: Tsoanelo Sefoloko

Streetlights across the community of Bester near KwaMashu in Durban were switched on last week after nearly 18 months of living in the dark.

In June residents and members of the community policing forum pleaded with the eThekwini Municipality to fix and replace streetlights in the area. They said that robberies and crime had increased as more people were having to travel to and from work in the dark. Even the City had hired private security to guard its electrical infrastructure to mitigate rampant cable theft in the community.

Following GroundUp’s report, City teams were seen replacing and repairing streetlights in Bester.

Community leader and CPF member, Thulani Hlophe, said they are happy that the light is finally back. “The darkness made our job very hard because there were areas that we could not go to, but now we can patrol the community without fear,” he said.

Hlophe said they hope crime will also improve with proper lighting.

Head of Communication at eThekwini municipality Lindiwe Khuzwayo said the vandalism and theft of infrastructure is a major challenge for the city’s streetlights division. She told GroundUp that the City loses millions of rand annually as a result of cable theft.

“It is difficult to know where these will occur. This scourge affects every part of the city, but is more prevalent along the highways,” said Khuzwayo.