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Wondering why the street lights are always on near Canal Walk on the N1?


WESTERN CAPE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT AND PUBLIC WORKS:The Department of Transport and Public Works has received numerous complaints regarding the new street lights on the N1 following a decision to keep the lights on 24 hours a day.
The decision to keep the street lights on throughout the day is aimed at deterring cable theft after a spate of cable theft cases since work started on the project a few months ago.
The contract for the project initially included a special wireless system, known as the Owlet system, to switch off the street lights during daytime including a dimming feature to save energy and reduce costs. This system would then be controlled from the Traffic Management Centre in Goodwood.
Unfortunately, the technological device that provides this feature – which is fitted to each and every luminaire contains a manufacturing defect – had to be remedied before the control system was fully commissioned. All the while, cables which were installed underground were at great risk of being stolen. In fact, many have already been stolen thus costing the Department unnecessary expenses to replace them.

In light of this, the project management team took the decision to keep the lights on throughout the day and provide security guards to patrol the affected section of the N1 in an attempt to deter thieves from stealing the underground cables. There has been a substantial decrease of cable theft since the streets lights are on for 24 hours a day. This has saved the Department the burden of unnecessary expenditure to replace stolen cables.
Although it is possible to switch off the luminaires manually at this stage, this would need to be done at each individual light pole, which is totally impractical given the number of poles. It will be possible to control individual luminaires wirelessly from a central computer located at the Traffic Management Centre whilst the underground cables remain live at all times once the Owlet control system is commissioned.