Focus on informal car guards

Dirk Wagener, Bloubergstrand

Dear Ms Jacobs, thank you very much for having the courage to tackle the car guards issue (“Informal car guards raise residents’ ire”, Tabletalk, February 15).

This small business enterprise has clearly blossomed over the past years and is still expanding year on year.

We have been living on Stadler Road, Bloubergstrand, for the past 20+ years. It is some four blocks long, and has two restaurants (Petit Fours and On The Rocks) fronting on it, and culminates in the parking circle at Ons Huisie. On the upper part, where we live, there are some 15 parking spaces along a sandy beach area, which is popular especially over weekends.

We have experienced an influx of these entrepreneurs over the past two to three years, but never as intensive as in the current season.

We are obviously aware of the problems facing people without a regular income.

What we experience regularly includes:

A very high turnover of “guards”. It seems to be a case of whoever gets here first, has the right to do the shift.

Some very nasty incidents, sometimes in plain view of patrons of the restaurants, between those who think a particular stretch of the road is theirs and newcomers.

Camping out on residents’ front courts, using planters as recliners whilst waiting for “clients”. Also using areas behind boundary walls to store their baggage.

The closest public toilets are at Blouberg’s southerly entrance and at the Ons Huisie circle. Those in areas not adjacent make their own plans.

Residents’ outside taps are being used ad lib for drinking (and sometimes washing), and often not closed properly.

A total ignorance of traffic rules. They will try to stop traffic flow to allow space for a parked car to exit, in order to get a better tip.

It was encouraging to read in your article that the issue is receiving some attention at council level.

However, in my view, very active priority should be given to it, with regulations, some training and registration, supply of sanitation in areas not having it, etc. It has the potential of a disaster waiting to happen.