Cape Town loses close to R17m due to vandalism and theft at recreational sites

The Monwabisi Beach facility sustained damage costing R2.5m when some of its buildings were set alight during a protest.
The Monwabisi Beach facility sustained damage costing R2.5m when some of its buildings were set alight during a protest.
Image: Luthando Tyhalibongo (City of Cape Town)

The City of Cape Town has counted 271 cases of damage to its recreational facilities in a year, with a cost of close to R17m.

“Vandalism, theft and arson at city facilities are selfish, short-sighted criminal activities that have a long-term effect of depriving communities of much-needed services and access to facilities,” said the city’s mayoral committee member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodien.

“It is especially the vulnerable groups in communities, our children and senior citizens, that are affected the most. When criminals trespass on city property and break down play equipment at a community park, they are stealing opportunities from children — opportunities to play and learn. We simply cannot and will not allow this,” he said.

Counting the losses for the period from July 1 2019 to August 30 2020, the city said theft at facilities was close to R3.8m with vandalism costing the city almost R11.8m. A further two claims of arson were registered at a cost of R870,000.

Vandalism, theft and the hijacking of council vehicles amounted to R603,814.

Facilities vandalised through protest action and illegal land invasions, with estimated losses and damages to equipment and infrastructure per facility, include:

  • Monwabisi Resort — R2.5m
  • Solomon Mahlangu Hall — R940,000
  • OR Tambo Sport Centre — R750,000
  • St James beach huts — R300,000
  • Wallacedene community park — R63,900
  • The Hague Recreation Centre — R40,000 and
  • Philippi East Hall — R10,000.

The estimated value of losses for land invasions and public protests at recreation and sports facilities amounts to R10.6m.

Badroodien appealed to members of the community to help prevent vandalism and theft by reporting possible criminal activity “so that officials can act swiftly to put a stop to the destruction of community facilities.”

Residents can report illegal activities by phoning 021-480-7700 from a cellphone and 107 from a landline. Members of the community can also send an e-mail.

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