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Highway robbery! 9km of fence stolen from roadway in less than three years

Published:Thursday | October 2, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Criminals have made off with more than nine kilometres of fence along Highway 2000 since January 2012.

Ivan Anderson, managing director of the National Road Operating and Construction Company (NROCC), told a parliamentary committee that the issue is causing headache for the highway developers.

"Since January 2012, we have had the equivalent of nine kilometres of fence being stolen. It is a daily process of trying to replace the fence," Anderson said.

Anderson appeared before Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee, where he said NROCC is very concerned about the development.

He told the committee that in addition to the stolen fence, they have to contend with the problem of damage to the fencing as people cut it to gain access to the roadway.

"The developer has imple-mented a number of strategies, [including] trying to work with the communities to protect the fence and monitor the fence, … [and] employing people from the community to monitor the fence and to repair the fence when it gets broken or torn down," Anderson said.

He said the developers are now using hog wire instead of chain-link fencing "in order to reduce the attractiveness, but it is still a major problem".

SAFETY CONCERN

Committee member Mike Henry raised the issue of security on the highway, noting that pedestrians and animals have been using the roadway, endangering themselves and other road users.

"There has been a movement towards replacing the fence using concrete. I have suggested we go even higher, so goats don't step over them," Henry said.

The NROCC boss said two additional patrol cars have been purchased to help rid the highways of pedestrian traffic and animals.