Graffiti marring Melkbos, warn civic leaders

The Melkbosstrand Ratepayers’ Association and the Melkbosstrand Neighbourhood Watch painted over graffiti on an electrical transformer on Atlantic Avenue in Duynefontein.

A spate of graffiti tagging in Melkbosstrand has civic groups fuming.

The problem picked up during the school holidays, according to Melkbosstrand Ratepayers’ Association (MRA) chairwoman Smokie la Grange.

“Parents are simply unaware or don’t care what their children are doing,” she said.

Several outdoor gyms had been marred by graffiti, and the culprits faced prosecution, she said.

“We have several suspects and are rapidly closing in on identifying the individuals. The MRA and the City will prosecute, as this is a criminal offence – a fact that parents should take into account.”

Melkbosstrand Neighbourhood Watch chairman Rhine Barnes said volunteers from a non-profit organisation, Beautify Melkbosstrand, had painted several bus shelters in Duynefontein, only to find graffiti on one of them days later.

And a new outdoor gym, which opened in Duynefontein on Thursday October 20, had been vandalised the same day, he said, adding that the only ones to use the gym that day had been a group of local children.

“These incidents have prompted the neighbourhood watch, in collaboration with the Melkbosstrand Ratepayers’ Association, to paint over the graffiti as soon as it is noticed. Also, to report vandalised road signs and infrastructure to the City for repairs or replacements,” he said.

Anyone caught defacing public property would be fined R1500 by the City on the first offence and issued with a compliance notice to have the graffiti removed at their expense, he said.

“The neighbourhood watch would like to remind residents that the by-laws pertaining to graffiti and vandalism will be enforced.”

Ward councillor Paul Swart said illegal graffiti was becoming more widespread in the area, and while some graffiti was an expression of creativity by street artists, what was being seen in the ward was pure vandalism.