Ramaphosa slams damage of public infrastructure as ‘sabotage’

He was asked whether the government had audited the cost of infrastructure damaged during lockdown, when entire train stations were rendered unusable, but Ramaphosa said he could not provide a global figure.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the vandalism of schools and the theft and damage of public infrastructure as “sabotage” and a crime against the people of South Africa.

Ramaposa is answering questions during a hybrid sitting of the National Council of Provinces on Thursday.

He was asked whether the government had audited the cost of infrastructure damaged during lockdown, when entire train stations were rendered unusable, but Ramaphosa said he could not provide a global figure.

The president has spoken out against the theft and damage done to schools, train stations and other public infrastructure.

“Damage to infrastructure is really a crime against the people of our country because when people get angry, when people get frustrated, there is just no reason why they should attack public infrastructure and prevent other people from either getting a service from that infrastructure or improving their lives.”

Ramaphosa said given the country’s fiscal constraints, it was becoming more difficult to fund repairs and replacement of damaged infrastructure and that this could take time.

“It’s got to be done – but we need to issue a warning to those who continue to damage infrastructure that the law enforcement agencies of our country will continue to take a very dim view against those who damage infrastructure because our country cannot afford to continue with this sabotage that takes place, not only against that infrastructure but against the people of South Africa.”

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