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George Municipality Calls for Protection of Community Infrastructure Against Vandalism

George Municipality continues to face a significant challenge with ongoing vandalism, particularly cable theft, resulting in substantial financial losses and service delivery disruptions. Over the past six to eight months, the municipality has suffered losses exceeding R 3.5 million due to vandalism, severely impacting various departments and causing prolonged electricity outages affecting residents, schools, and businesses.

The Electrotechnical Services Department has been the hardest hit, reporting 811 cable theft incidents from July to December 2023 alone, amounting to over R 3.5 million in losses. This vandalism extends beyond cable theft, affecting infrastructure such as streetlight poles, kiosks, and low-voltage lines.

Various other incidents of vandalism have been reported across different departments.
• Corporate Services reported damage to Lawaaikamp Hall’s fence, costing approximately R 80,000.
• Parks and Recreation reported vandalism at Gwaing beach, with an estimated cost of approximately R 5,000.
• Sports facilities, including stadiums in Thembalethu, Blanco, Rosemore, Pacaltsdorp, and Maraiskamp, have also been targeted, resulting in damages and theft amounting to approximately R 37,000.
• Law Enforcement efforts have led to arrests in connection with cable theft and vandalism.

Vandalism incidents continue to pose challenges and inconvenience to residents. We implore the citizens of George to assist in combating vandalism by promptly reporting incidents to the official channels of the George Municipality and the police. Vandalism is a criminal act that ultimately burdens ratepayers and deprives communities of essential services.

The public is requested to please report people tampering, painting, breaking, or stealing municipal property with the SAPS and George Municipality Law Enforcement (044 801 6350 or 044 801 6300 after hours) as soon as you see it happening. If you can take pictures of the culprits in the act without endangering yourself, it will help a lot. Thank you in advance for helping us protect our infrastructure.

To incentivize cooperation, George Municipality offers a reward of R2500 for information leading to the successful conviction of vandals in a court of law. Informants may provide their details to relevant authorities, and their identities will be protected by the municipality. To be eligible for the reward, please report to 0860 044 044.