In 2017 and especially over the Festive season the Roads and Building Section of the Municipality detected a significant increase in the vandalism and removal of road traffic signs and street name boards. Such acts of vandalism not only inconvenience residents and visitors and compromise the safety of the road users, but also place an extra burden on the municipality’s resources as the repair and replacement costs of these facilities are very high. These losses are inevitably and indirectly recovered from residents.
In total, it has cost council close to N$130 000 to replace vandalised street signs during December. This amount represents about 70% of the total expenditure for the December 2017 period only. These costs include reinstallation of vandalised traffic signs, street name poles, and labour.
Vandalism of public facilities is a criminal offence and anyone guilty of such behaviour may face stiff penalties, imprisonment or both. There are standing by-laws that prohibit these acts of vandalism:
STANDARD BY-LAW RELATING TO STREETS:
Damaging of notice boards
18. (1) No person shall deface, damage or in any way interfere with any notice board, street traffic sign, street name board or similar sign or any hoarding which has been erected in a street by or with the permission of the local authority.
35. A person who contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of this by-law, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding N$300.00 or six months imprisonment, or both that fine and imprisonment. The fine can be increased to N$2,000 if found guilty in a Court of Law.
With the availability of built-in camera facilities on cell phones, residents are urged to take photos of the culprits and to report acts of vandalism immediately at the nearest Police Station. Photos can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or send via WhatsApp to
08 081 128 3238.