Dark roads a safety hazard

Cable thieves strike in busy Woolwash Road

DANGER ZONE: Steel street lamp posts on Woolwash Road have been bent over and the copper cables stolen from them Picture: ETHIENNE ARENDS

ONE of East London’s busiest roads, Woolwash Road near Haven Hills, have been left in the dark due to cable theft.

This is the second major road in East London that has been hit by cable thieves and vandals after the very busy Mdantsane access road, popularly known as Black Road, was left mostly powerless for more than four years now.

Besides both roads being among the busiest in the Buffalo City Metro (BCM) area, they are also two of the most dangerous, with bad road accidents a regular occurrence.

Steel street lamp posts have been bent over and copper cables stolen on the two roads, making them even more dangerous at night.

The notorious Black Road has seen a lot of fatalities over the years and since it is without any lights at night, it is even more dangerous.

Motorists now also find driving on the very dark Woolwash Road a problem at night, with almost no visibility.

GO! & Express news editor Ethienne Arends, who drives on the road daily, said: “You cannot see anyone crossing Black Road. However, it’s 10 times worse on Woolwash Road. You can’t even see someone wearing white clothes crossing the road at night.

“Cars now resort to driving with their brights on, which only makes it worse for oncoming traffic as it blinds you even more on such a dark road. It is bad to drive on a road where motorists make their own rules.”

BCM spokesman Sibusiso Cindi said all the equipment and lights that had been vandalised, as well as the stolen copper cables, would be replaced.

“However, before we can fix these, there are other processes that must be kick-started and we have already done so.

“Those processes include costing, budget allocation and ordering of the material.”

“Moreover, the lights on the Black Road have been replaced a few times, but are vandalised time and time again,” Cindi said.

The police confirmed the cable theft case on Woolwash Road.

Police spokeswoman Warrant Officer Hazel Mqala said: “There is a case that has been opened at Scenery Park police station for copper cable theft. However, no arrests have been made but we are continuing with investigations.

“There are operations taking place targeting the scrap metal dealers [who buy copper cables/wires] and secondhand goods stores, but I cannot divulge when and where the places are,“ Mqala said.

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