NELSON Mandela Bay Municipality’s roll-out of R64-million worth of energy-saving street lights is proceeding as planned, with 7000 lights installed in residential areas in the city thus far.
The roll-out was announced in September after a protracted court battle set the project back about eight months.
The company that lost out on the tender for the new lighting, Beka Pty Ltd, lost its court battle which it hoped would overturn the decision to award the tender to Sizwe Risk Consulting.
Beka, which had been responsible for the installation and maintenance of the city’s street lights, claimed it already had the right to supply the new energy-efficient street lights to the city.
Peter Neilson, acting executive director of electricity and energy, said street lighting could be divided into two categories – minor, which was mainly in the domestic areas, and major, which was the main roads including freeways.
Neilson said installations along minor roads would be completed by next year while major roads would be done by 2014. By installing the new LED lights the metro projected to save more than R150-million over the next 15 years.
He said funding for the roll-out was sourced from national Treasury through the Energy Department.
"The successful tender had to restart production and deliveries commenced in November. Through great effort from the supplier, large amounts of deliveries were received in the last couple of months of the financial year. The final lights were delivered on June 25 and this delayed the installation programme.”
Neilson said that to date about 7000 lights had been installed and the installation would be completed by December.
"During the evaluation of the major road tenders it was found that the technologies offered were no different from the existing technologies and the savings would not justify the expenditure.
"The NMBM had also learnt that newer technologies like LED technology were fast developing and would be available at more affordable pricing for major roads around the middle of this year. NMBM is piloting and testing these technologies.”
Neilson said the major road funding was used to retrofit lighting in municipal buildings.
He said the main cause of darkness on the main roads was the result of vandalism and cable theft.
"NMBM is replacing the stolen cables with overhead lines in an effort to combat the theft. Parts of the freeway leading to Lorraine have been repaired. The other areas will be repaired in due course.”