The Democratic Alliance (DA) has embarked on a night patrol in Johannesburg as part of the City’s programme to tackle the issue of the theft of public infrastructure which plagues local governments across the country.
The Democratic Alliance took its fight to liberate South Africans from the scourge of cable theft to the area of Douglasdale, north of Johannesburg, where residents have been negatively impacted by cable theft and illegal connections.
DA leader John Steenhuisen says, “It is incredibly important to deal with the scourge of infrastructure theft in South Africa it costs 100s of millions of rands every single year and it affects service delivery, it exacerbates load shedding, it also disrupts business and also means that ordinary citizens are deprived of electricity and services when the cables are stolen and the infrastructure is stolen.”
To get the infrastructure back to purpose, City Power says it is looking at a backlog of billions.
City Power CEO Tshifularo Mashava says, “I think this is really bad because for us it means it’s unsafe, but also the costs in terms of us replacing this. As we speak, we have a R26 billion backlog due to infrastructure. Those are some of the things that get impacted by this.”
The DA plans to head to parliament to hold an urgent public debate where they will table solutions about how South Africa can deal with what it calls, an attack on infrastructure.
National Infrastructure Plan
In March, Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille said one of the key elements of the National Infrastructure Plan (NIP) 2050 is to end the theft and vandalism of the public infrastructure.
The Minister briefed the media in Pretoria on the gazetting of the over R6 trillion plan covering 62 projects across the country. The projects range from water, energy and digital communication infrastructures.
The country’s rail network was destroyed at the height of the hard lockdown in 2020 and in some areas infrastructure projects are stopped due to political interference and extortion.
De Lille said the National Infrastructure Plan 2050 will deal with these challenges.
VIDEO: Media briefing on gazetting of the National Infrastructure Plan 2050:
-Reporting by Canny Maphanga and Ntebo Mokobo.