On Monday night, 4 February 2013, members of Equal Education (EE), the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) will march through the streets of Khayelitsha to demand adequate public lighting. The march will begin at 19h30 at the Town Two market, on the corner of Lansdowne Road and Spine Road. Marchers will proceed down Lansdowne Road which is overwhelmingly unlit due to broken street lights. Large sections of this road – one of Cape Town’s busiest – have no street lights at all.
The lack of street lights poses a risk to both drivers and pedestrians. Residents, especially children, risk being hit by cars when crossing roads at night. Khayelitsha has the highest number of motor vehicle related deaths in Cape Town – twice as high as the city centre and five times as high as the Southern Suburbs. The lack of street lighting along busy roads contributes significantly to this.
Many people who live in Khayelitsha leave for work early in the morning and return home late at night. The lack of adequate lighting makes them vulnerable to violent crime. Drivers also face difficulty when navigating Khayelitsha after sunset, as the darkness conceals pot holes and animals.
Since the problem has been brought to the City’s attention there have been some small improvements (see here) but much more needs to be done. Marchers will call on the City to provide a plan to ensure that lights are properly maintained, that vandalism is prevented, and that new lights are installed in areas that are currently without street lights.
EE has offered to provide secure parking at their Khayelitsha office to journalists attending the march. They may accompany EE members to and from the event.
For more information please contact:
Phumeza Mlungwana (SJC) on 0742895220
Kate Wilkinson (EE) on 082 326 5353
Sonwabile Nqinata (TAC) on 072 697 6882