Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Correspondent
Lack of basic switches to turn off street lights during the day maybe costing Harare City Council thousands of dollars monthly.
The Herald observed that street lights in Harare’s central business district (CBD) were always switched on during the day.
Further, in residential areas when there is no Zesa load-shedding, tower lights are always on.
In most cases where tower lights are off, it’s either due to a mechanical fault or the bulbs have reached the end of their lifespan.
The most affected suburbs are Warren Park, Southerton, Highfield, Kuwadzana, Mufakose, Tafara, Chitungwiza and Budiriro.
Years of neglect have led to the deterioration of street lighting in the city.
Council’s corporate communications manager Mr Michael Chideme said: “Daylight switches are not working. We have ordered the switches and once they are available we will replace them. If we switch them off now there will be lights at night.”
Council has over the years made efforts to go green by installing solar-powered street lights, but the project was being hampered by theft and vandalism.
Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Road, which had become the envy of locals and visitors alike due to its wide and well maintained tarmac and solar-powered street lights, has lost its lustre as most of the lights are no longer functioning.
Mr Chideme said the newly-installed street cameras in the CBD were a pilot project.
Harare this month installed new surveillance cameras at traffic lights in the city centre to monitor traffic offenders and ultimately reduce congestion.
Although the original cameras were installed almost six years ago at two intersections, they have failed to make an impact.
The cameras are designed to “capture” motorists who impede the smooth flow of traffic.
It is envisaged that the gadgets will also assist police in identifying criminals in the city centre.