Resident’s sub-station worry

The Zinnia Street substation has been vandalised, used as a toilet, dump site and a home for vagrants.

Children have been seen playing next to a Lentegeur sub-station that has had its fence repeatedly vandalised, say those living nearby.

The Zinnia Street sub-station has also been used as a dump site, a toilet and a place for vagrants to squat, say neighbours.

“They also sit and do their drugs inside,” said an elderly woman who refused to be named.

Fatima Prince, of Tafelsig, has filed several complaints with the City of Cape Town because her parents live near the sub-station.

She first complained last year, when her parents saw someone sleep inside the “cage”.

“We were sent from pillar to post, department to department, and it took months before they came out to inspect it,” she said.

Ms Prince said the City, in correspondence to her, had said the community should take ownership of their area.

“The least they (the City) can do is to respond to our complaints and help out where they can,” she said.

On Friday October 9, City staff closed the broken palisade fence but failed to clean inside.

Ms Prince said she had called ward councillor Goawa Timm who had arranged in the past for the inside of the facility to be cleaned.

Ms Timm told the Plainsman that she had done all that she could.

Phindile Maxiti, mayoral committee member for energy and climate change, said intruders had broken a concrete post in the palisade fence to get inside the sub-station.

“A case of damage to essential reticulation infrastructure and trespassing on a sub-station will be opened with the South African Police Service,” he said.

The repair to the fence on Friday was a temporary solution, he said.

The installation of a new high-security steel cage would be a more permanent solution, but that would take time as its manufacture and installation had to be budgeted for, he said.

Children should not be permitted to play with or around electricity infrastructure, he said.

“Communities are reminded of their responsibility to supervise what the children are doing and to keep children away from playing with electricity infrastructure and to treat electricity infrastructure as ‘live’ at all times to avoid electrocutions.”

Communities should take ownership of neighbourhood infrastructure and report vandalism to the authorities, he said.

BLOB Anonymous tip-offs can be made by calling 112 from a cellphone (toll free) and 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 for emergencies.