The Mangaung Metro Municipality (MMM) is experiencing a spike in vandalism and theft of its Information & Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure, which has negative impacts on daily operations and service delivery.
According to MMM spokesperson, Qondile Khedama, over the March and August 2023 period, there have been four separate incidents of vandalism and theft at different municipal sites, while two other incidents were recorded in November 2022.
“Vandalism of property and theft of goods, such as fibre cables and equipment, UPS batteries, copper cables, and electricity extensions are some of the commonalities that have been picked up. This resulted in the disruption of services at over 30 municipal buildings, including the municipal headquarters Bram Fischer Building, Botshabelo White House, Thaba Nchu Civic Centre, Central Fire Station, Disaster Management Centre, Traffic College, City Library,” said Khedama.
He added that these criminal acts require ICT to spend more on its operational budget to maintain and restore connectivity to the affected sites.
“IT’s priority is to enable the municipality to function efficiently, by connecting all municipal regions to create a network for communication purposes and granting access to application systems, amongst other functions,” said Khedama.
The city relies on ICT infrastructure to provide services such as:
- Email and internet access for all users
- Voice over IP telephony services
- Access to critical application systems such as Solar (financial system and HR Focus)
- Two-way radio communication (for law enforcement officers, fire and safety department)
“When Mangaung’s ICT infrastructure is damaged through theft or vandalism, it leaves officials in the affected area (region) vulnerable as they are unable to provide services to assist community members. ICT infrastructure becomes even critical when communities want to reach the Disaster Management Centre, which coordinates relevant teams in cases of fire disasters,” Khedama explained.
“As we strengthen our law enforcement, the City reiterates its appeal to the community to assist in combating the scourge of vandalism and theft at municipal infrastructure. Residents are urged to be on the lookout for suspicious activities at any municipal facility and report it to the nearest police station,” he concluded.
Compiled by Justine Fortuin