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Electricity 044 874 3917
Water / Sanitation 044 801 9262/9266
Fire 044 801 6311
Refuse Removal 044 802 2900
Traffic / Licence 044 878 2400 / 044 801 9315
Law Enforcement 044 801 6350
GO GEORGE Call Centre 0800 044 044
George Municipality Switchboard 044 801 9111
30 January 2018

Municipality calls on community to kerb vandalism of shelters

Repeated vandalising of GO GEORGE infrastructure in some of the communities that already enjoy the benefits of the city’s public bus service, has reached a critical stage with the George Municipality at its wit’s end.

The long-awaited bus shelters are a specific target. Of the 68 shelters already installed, 52 (77%) have been vandalised. This includes 83 glass panels (sides and/or back) and 7 Perspex panels that have been broken or removed, and 33 panels that have been defaced by graffiti. The Department of Civil Engineering has a hard time keeping up with the removal of dangerous shards, while repair work is waiting for the results of several materials being tested to replace those that are constantly vandalised. This is also delaying the schedule of shelter installation, since another 44 shelter frames are waiting in the factory to be finished off with the chosen panels before they can be installed.

As part of ongoing research and testing to find a solution to the problem, damaged panels at some of the vandalised shelters are currently being replaced with perforated steel, Perspex, Plexiglass and solid steel plates to test its durability. According to the shelter designers, the original glass panels consist of three layers of glass that would definitely not be broken by a young person throwing a stone, but would take a concerted effort with heavy objects to do the kind of damage that can be seen at the vandalised shelters.

The initial strong glass panels were chosen for safety reasons to ensure visibility of passengers inside the shelter, as well as passengers' need to see oncoming buses. These practical, and in some cases legal prescriptions might have to be altered just to keep the shelters in one piece.

George Municipal Manager, Trevor Botha, has spoken out strongly against this criminal conduct.  “By vandalising and damaging these structures, the culprits deprive those members of the community who need it most of these expensive facilities. The cost of one bus shelter is R52 000, excluding preparation of the site and installation. Investigation, getting quotations and repair work on damaged shelters take time, and until this is concluded, passengers are the victims who are inconvenienced and exposed to the elements," he said. 

Botha appeals to the public to discourage, stop and report any vandalising activities. “We have to count on the community to help us here. By the time a report reaches us, the damage has been done. We would really appreciate the community’s support in kerbing these actions. GO GEORGE is the community’s bus service – let’s all take ownership, and take hands to preserve the costly infrastructure needed for efficient running of the service. The cost of continually repairing vandalised vehicles and infrastructure could eventually impact the cost of your ticket.”

The public is requested to report vandalism to GO GEORGE directly.  Phone the GO GEORGE Call Centre on 0800 044 044 (manned from 05:00 till 21:30 daily), write an email to info@gogeorge.org.za, or leave a message on the GO GEORGE Facebook page.

CAPTION:

One of the 83 vandalised glass panels at a GO GEORGE bus shelter in Memoriam Road. It takes a concerted effort with a heavy object to do this kind of damage.

 

Munisipaliteit vra gemeenskap se hulp om vandalisme van busskuilings te stuit

Herhaalde vandalisering van GO GEORGE-infrastruktuur in sommige van die gemeenskappe wat reeds die voordele van die stad se openbare busdiens geniet, het ’n kritieke punt bereik met die George-munisipaliteit met hul hande in die hare.

Die langverwagte busskuilings is spesifiek ’n teiken. Van die 68 skuilings wat reeds geïnstalleer is, is 52 (77%) gevandaliseer. Dit sluit in 83 glaspanele (sy- en rugpanele) en 7 Perspex-panele wat gebreek of verwyder is, en 33 panele wat deur graffiti ontsier is. Die siviele ingenieursdepartement kan skaars voorbly met die verwydering van gevaarlike skerwe, terwyl herstelwerk wag vir die uitslae van verskeie materiale wat getoets word om dié wat konstant gevandaliseer word te vervang. Dit vertraag ook die skedule van skuiling-oprigting aangesien nog 44 skuilingrame in die fabriek wag om voltooi te word met die gekose panele voordat dit geïnstalleer kan word.

As deel van deurlopende navorsing en toetsing om ’n oplossing vir die probleem te vind, word beskadigde panele by sommige van die gevandaliseerde skuilings tans vervang met geperforeerde staal, Perspex, Plexiglass en soliede staalplate om duursaamheid te toets. Volgens die skuilingontwerpers bestaan die oorspronklike glaspanele uit drie lae glas wat beslis nie gebreek kan word deur ’n jong persoon wat ’n klip gooi nie, maar ’n daadwerklike poging met swaar voorwerpe verg om die soort skade wat by beskadigde skuilings gesien word, aan te rig.

Die aanvanklike glaspanele is gekies vir veiligheidsredes om sigbaarheid van passasiers binne die skuiling te verseker, sowel as om passasiers in staat te stel om aankomende busse te sien. Hierdie praktiese, en in sommige gevalle wetlike voorskrifte sal dalk aangepas moet word om die skuilings in een stuk te hou.

George se munisipale bestuurder, Trevor Botha, het hom sterk uitgespreek teen hierdie kriminele gedrag. "Deur hierdie strukture te vandaliseer en te beskadig, ontneem die oortreders daardie lede van die gemeenskap wat dit die nodigste het van hierdie duur fasiliteite. Die koste van een skuiling is R52 000, en dit sluit voorbereiding van die terrein en installering uit. Ondersoek, die insameling van kwotasies, en herstelwerk aan beskadigde skuilings neem tyd, en totdat dit afgehandel is, is ons passasiers die slagoffers wat verontrief en aan die elemente blootgestel word," het hy gesê.

Botha doen ’n beroep op die publiek om vandalisme te ontmoedig, te help stop en aan te meld. "Ons moet op die gemeenskap staat maak om ons hiermee te help. Teen die tyd wat ’n aanmelding ons bereik, is die skade reeds gedoen. Ons sal regtig die gemeenskap se ondersteuning om hierdie optrede te stuit, waardeer. GO GEORGE is die gemeenskap se busdiens – kom ons neem almal eienaarskap en vat hande om die duur infrastruktuur wat nodig is vir die busdiens om doeltreffend te funksioneer, te behou. Die koste om gedurig gevandaliseerde voertuie en infrastruktuur te herstel kan uiteindelik ’n impak hê op die koste van jou buskaartjie."

Die publiek word versoek om vandalisme direk by GO GEORGE aan te meld. Skakel die GO GEORGE-inbelkantoor by 0800 044 044 (beman van 05:00 – 21:30, daagliks), stuur ’n e-pos na info@gogeorge.org.za, of laat ’n boodskap op GO GEORGE se Facebook-blad.

ONDERSKRIF: Een van die 83  gevandaliseerde glaspanele by ’n GO GEORGE-busskuiling in Memoriamweg. Dit neem ’n daadwerklike poging met ’n swaar voorwerp om hierdie tipe skade aan te rig. 

Last published 30 January 2018