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The City of Cape Town notes with concern that yet another maintenance team, this time a contractor, has been robbed at gunpoint while attending to an overflowing sewer. The incident occurred on Monday 22 August 2016 on the property of the Boundary Primary School in Taaibos Road, Bonteheuwel.

After being called out to deal with an overflowing sewer, the contractor arrived on site to commence overpumping (whereby the blockage is isolated from the network so it can be cleared), but as soon as they began setting up equipment, they were accosted and their valuables and equipment stolen. As a result of the robbery, the repairs and clean-up operations have been delayed until the area is safe.

‘Between the recent attacks on firefighters, the targeting of our clinics by criminals, and now this incident, we feel a renewed call for vigilance and assistance from residents is warranted,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, Alderman Ernest Sonnenberg.While the City does all it can to deliver services efficiently to all areas, the frequency with which our staff are targeted is a huge cause for concern. The fact that in certain cases repairs cannot be performed without a police escort is an unsustainable situation. The City therefore calls on community members who have any information that could assist the police in apprehending the suspects to please report it to the South African Police Service.

‘Regular robberies of both staff and facilities are a major hindrance to providing services. Where these incidents take place, the cost of repairing and replacing stolen materiel effectively limits the City’s means to invest in and develop poorer communities. It is important that residents report these incidents and help ensure that criminals are punished,’ said Alderman Sonnenberg.

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