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EMS: Poor lighting in Cape townships a major problem

Paramedic Gilbert Jacobs says response times are often delayed in areas where there are no street lights.

FILE: Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Emergency Services say poor lighting in Cape Town townships is a major problem for the safety of patients and personnel.

The issue formed part of a public meeting hosted by civic group the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) in khayelitsha to discuss lighting in Brown’s Farm, Sweet Home, Marikana, Kraaifontein, Nyanga and Samora Machel.

The SJC’s Chumile Sali says more lighting is needed in townships as poor visibility is a direct contributor to the high crime rates.

“Most crimes in Khayelitsha and Nyanga occur between 6pm and 6am in communities where there are no street lights… communities that contribute to high murder rates in South Africa. We’re blaming the City of Cape Town for the high volume of crime.”

EMS paramedic Gilbert Jacobs says response times are often delayed in areas where there are no street lights and it also places ambulance personnel in danger.

“We struggle to get to an address which causes a delay. Once that ambulance personnel arrives the community is angry because we take too long. For us street lights place a major role so we as ambulance personnel can see who we treat as well as our surrounding.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)