Millions lost in robot vandalism

THE Johannesburg Roads Agency is losing millions of rands a year fixing traffic lights that are allegedly vandalised by copper thieves.

The agency, which is responsible for the city's road maintenance, said it had lost more than R5.9-million in the current financial year repairing traffic lights broken by criminals who were reportedly looking for copper, which they sell as scrap metal.

JRA spokesman Thulani Makhubela said the agency had recorded 418 such incidents from July last year to date. "This is bad because money that is supposed to be used on other things is channelled into fixing traffic lights. This kind of vandalism causes congestion on the roads, which affects the economy because it causes slow movement of goods. Dysfunctional traffic lights may also contribute to road accidents, which could be fatal."

He said the Metro police would start installing CCTV cameras to combat the crime.

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