Litany of woes – Talk of the Town

LACK of security and oversight of Ndlambe Municipality’s infrastructural assets has led to vandalism, theft and abuse of municipal resources.

Among the problems highlighted by a municipal insider is the vandalism done to a project at the Port Alfred landfill site that was meant to house a composting facility and nursery, missing fencing at the Port Alfred sewage plant where a security guard was murdered three months ago, rampant theft at the municipal works yard in Port Alfred and lack of tracking on municipal vehicles since a contract ended last year.

The municipality has acknowledged the problems, though it has declined to go into detail in responses to TotT’s questions.

Our source, who asked for anonymity as he is a municipal employee, said he had been dismayed by the lack of controls which had resulted in the destruction and loss of property and even in the death of a security guard.

TotT has previously reported on the lack of adequate security at the R30-million sewage plant, which was dysfunctional for a year after electrical boxes were vandalised and copper cable stolen.

The sewage plant has been targeted by copper cable thieves numerous times over the years, and there were even reports of shots being fired at the facility in previous MultiSecurity incident reports.

Matters came to a head on July 5 when armed robbers stormed the guardhouse at the plant and shot and killed one of the security guards before taking his cellphone, a radio and panic button, and the cellphone of the murdered guard’s colleague. TotT has reported on this incident, which was confirmed by the police.

“Fencing is missing and the guardhouse itself has no electricity. How can they be expected to guard and secure the facility under such circumstances?” our source said.

As for the landfill site, he said a grant worth “millions” had been given to the municipality for a composting facility and nursery at the site, in line with national recycling objectives.

“Those buildings have been vandalised and anything of value was taken. There was no security,” our source said.

Security is also a problem at the municipal works yard in Port Alfred, where theft is rampant according to TotT’s source.

TotT has previously reported on the theft of fuel at the works yard, as reported in the council agendas. Security cameras were vandalised to prevent footage being recorded of the incidents.

“It’s not only fuel that is being stolen. Tyres, batteries and tools have also be stolen – and although there are guards at the front entrance, there is a big opening at the back of the works yard that allows thieves easy access to the facility,” our source continued.

See the full story in the current Talk of the Town.