The Johannesburg Roads Agency has begun dismantling illegal boom gates in Gauteng, despite objections from communities, who say the gates deter criminals.

The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) has begun dismantling illegal boom gates in Gauteng, despite objections from communities, who say the gates deter criminals.

The deadline for boom gate applications ended last Thursday. There are more than 1 100 boom gates in Johannesburg, but the agency received only 296 applications by Thursday.

On Friday the agency removed booms in Randburg and Inanda. The council workers cut loose the palisade gates and loaded them on to bakkies. "I don't understand why they removed it. They stomped up with their big trucks and cameras and took them down. I believe it is vandalism," one of the Inanda residents told the .

Operations manager Liam Clarke said they planned to remove a boom in Kensington, but discovered the community had already dismantled the gate.

Residents in Inanda said the boom gates provided security, which police could not do for them. Tonya Harvey, chairman of the Sixth Avenue Inanda Residents' Association, told the newspaper there had been 37 reported crimes in Sixth Avenue in the last six months outside the closed-off area. "The gates do reduce crime," she said. Harvey said they had submitted their application on Thursday.

Clarke said they would continue to remove more illegal gates this week and processing applications to see if they met the city council’s criteria. Applications must give reasons for the road closure. They must show 80 per cent approval from the community and the right of freedom must not be restricted. Applications should also include traffic impact studies on local roads.

Original article from Car