CPT protests cost R13m in damages

Philippi residents protest over service delivery problems. Picture: Carmel Loggenberg/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town's Safety and Security Director Richard Bosman on Sunday confirmed the estimate for damage caused by service delivery protests in the province to have reached R13 million.

Hundreds of protestors have intensified weekly demonstrations around the Western Cape over the past few weeks.

The most violent protests have disrupted traffic along the N2 Highway near Khayelitsha.

The most damage has been caused to traffic lights at major intersections and road surfaces where protesters burned tyres.

Bosman said many roads have to be completely rebuilt and resurfaced.

“There was damage to the road network and the surfaces of the road. Extra expenses include having to bring in extra staff over the last few weeks.”

He said about R1 million has been spent on overtime salaries for extra staff that have to be on high alert.

“If we look at the traffic signals network, as well at the portable toilets alone, we’re looking at R5,5 million. The estimation for the cost of the road network is just over R5 million as well. However, overtime has cost the city just over R1 million.”

He added that repairs were already underway.

“We’ve already started repairing the traffic signals. on Friday, the signals in Modderdam Road were repaired. We have eight more to be fixed and we’re hoping to do four this week and four next week.”

Meanwhile, Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille said she was disappointed that R13 million has to be spent.

De Lille said the money could have been spent on improving services in needy communities.

She said she wants to provide essential services in the city's expanding informal settlements.

“A lot more people are moving down to Cape Town and the government of today wants to provide all people coming in to Cape Town with services.”

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)