Centre a sight for

sore eyes

Sylvia Burd, West Beach

I live behind the Westport Centre on Sandown Road and since the new owners, Swish, have taken over the centre and new managers have moved in to the Spar, a load of rubbish has accumulated on the Windlass Road side of the centre.

There is a skip on that side of the centre which is full of and surrounded by rubbish that flies around the area every time the wind blows.

I have spoken to the building manager of Swish for the centre and asked him to clear the rubbish and I have also spoken to the manager at the Spar and various owners of the shops inside the centre. Nobody wants to take responsibility for the rubbish, even though it’s either the builders, employed by Swish, at the centre, or the customers of the shops inside the centre that are disposing of their rubbish there.

I have also emailed our ward councillor, Nora Grose, who apparently passed a message on to the department of solid waste to clear the area, but still nothing has been done.

I guess the next step would be to rally up some neighbours to clean up the rubbish ourselves, but why does the responsibility always fall on the community to fix the wrongs of our council and the businesses in our area?

I have personally decided to boycott the centre until they take responsibility for their rubbish.

* Chrystal Grauso, Chief Operating Officer of Swish Properties, responds:

We are always looking to improve the centres we own and manage and appreciate any feedback. We are currently busy with a large project for revamping the centre and look forward to the community’s positive feedback thereon.

Our property manager went to the area this morning to investigate. We have also informed SPAR to keep the area clean on disposal of the refuse. There was dirt lying around from when the skip had been removed.

Our cleaners on site were instructed to come and clean the area and the property manager will return this afternoon to ensure the work has been performed satisfactorily. We will monitor the situation now and keep it on scope of the cleaners’ duties to attend to this area.

* Councillor Nora Grose responds: I visited the centre on March 24. Sylvia sent the complaint on February 7. I responded after I requested the department of solid waste to attend to the complaint and the matter was attended to on February 11.

I also requested her to keep me posted should she have any future problems in this regard. I have not heard from her since then and no further complaint was raised. When I visited the site today it was clear the area where the contractors are working is demarcated and other than the rubble in the skip there was no other rubbish laying or flying around. The skip gets covered with a net in the wind. I talked to many of the tenants at the centre and they all had the same response, “they have never noticed any rubble or rubbish or mess around the centre and or inside the centre grounds”.

The City of Cape Town cannot remove building rubble or rubbish from private property. I will send an email to the centre manager and raise the complaint with them. I trust the above gives the resident the assurance that I will endeavour to resolve this matter. I would prefer the resident to communicate with me directly instead of through the newspapers as direct communication provides faster results. If I can make a suggestion, it always helps to send me a photo of the proof so I can substantiate the legitimacy of the concern.