Cost of vandalism in Cape Town runs into millions

Cost of vandalism in Cape Town runs into millions

The City of Cape Town said on Monday it has calculated that vandalism to the city’s infrastructure over the past three years amounted to more than R12 million. 

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Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Special Projects Alderman said on Tuesday that “malicious damage to community facilities during protest action has reached unacceptable proportions”.

She said though the material loss came to R12 million, “we cannot put a price tag on the loss experienced by residents” in affected communities.

Walker said the money the City spent on fixing infrastructure damaged by vandalism could have been better spent on other amenities such as “providing additional recreational facilities, spray parks, smart parks, or synthetic soccer pitches in communities where these facilities are sorely needed”.

These community facilities she pointed out, “offer a safe space for our vulnerable residents to relax”.

The city’s sport and other recreational activities, she emphasised, “form an important part of a health-based approach as they offer an alternative use of free time – a diversion for high-risk individuals from gangsterism and drugs.”

Protesters’ destruction of these facilities, Walker said, “shows utter disrespect for property”.

“It is shocking that our society has developed a culture of burning and destroying community property. There is no excuse for such disrespectful behaviour and this is not the way people should choose to express their grievances,” she said.

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