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Social Justice Coalition members march in Rondebosch over the lighting differences in different parts of the city. SISONKE MLAMLA
Cape Town – The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) held a march late Tuesday night in Rondebosch to highlight the difference between lighting in well-to-do areas and that in townships.

In a similar march in February, the same group marched in Town Two, Khayelitsha, to show the poor illumination high mast lighting provided.

“Given the consequences of apartheid spatial planning, low and low-to-medium income communities continue to live on the periphery of Cape Town,” the group said.

Dali Weyers, a senior researcher in the SJC’s safety and justice department, said that in these “low and low-to-medium income communities” 95% of people were public transport users, often required to leave home before sunrise and getting home after sunset.

He said public lighting there was so bad that formal and informal areas were still mainly lit by high mast apartheid-era lights, which cast deep shadows and made it dangerous for residents to move around, especially in informal settlements where residents fell victim to criminals who preyed on them.

“According to the City of Cape Town’s Transport Authority, the largest indirect costs carried by these public transport users, whose journeys start on foot, is crime and a lack of safety.”

Weyers said Khayelitsha had 15 times more street robberies than Rondebosch in 2017/2018.

“Between 2011 and 2015 Khayelitsha also had the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in the city.”

He said this informed a submission from the SJC on the City of Cape Town’s draft budget in 2017/2018.

“In response to a submission by the SJC to the City of Cape Town’s draft budget in 2017/2018, the city made a R40 million budget allocation commitment in the final budget, to be spent in Khayelitsha over four years”.

Weyers said the SJC had repeatedly asked the City for a clear breakdown of where the R40m had been spent.

The city’ mayoral committee member for Energy and Climate Change, Phindile Maxiti, said it had invited the SJC for a discussion and a breakdown of the city’s master plan regarding the issue of lighting, but to no avail. 

“They keep slamming us in the media.”


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