Imbizo reveals residents’ fears

Empty alcohol bottles and empty condom wrappers are a common site on the green belt opposite Justin Street.

Swift action is needed to stop crime, drugs, prostitution and general lawlessness tearing Brooklyn and Ysterplaat apart, say residents.

The call for action came at an imbizo held by the Maitland Community Police Forum (CPF) at Ysterplaat Primary School, in Brooklyn, on Wednesday February 22.

The CPF and the Maitland police had invited the communities of Brooklyn and Maitland to the meeting to give feedback on what was happening in the area. The meeting was attended by fewer than 30 people. CPF chairwoman Chanell Southgate said the meeting was also an opportunity for residents to vent their frustrations.

Warrant Officer Michael Knapp, from Maitland SAPS, urged people not to withdraw charges once they got their stolen property back.

“Criminals tend to target foreign nationals because they know they don’t like going to court. The moment they have their property back, they don’t press charges. They don’t realise they are releasing these criminals to do it to someone else,” said Warrant Officer Knapp.

Patricia Tallant, manager of the Paarden Eiland City Improvement District, said vagrancy, thefts from cars and burglaries were problems in Paarden Eiland. “We appeal to business people to wake up, wise up and ensure their properties are secure.”

She said that for years they had tried to get business owners to form a city improvement district (CID) along the Koeberg corridor but had been told people couldn’t afford the associated cost.

“That’s a load of hogwash. You can afford anything if you put your mind to it. If a thousand people come together and donate a R1 each they can pay someone R1 000 to patrol the streets. I’m sure someone who is not working would appreciate that money,” said Ms Tallant.

Residents complained about the fruit-and-vegetable sellers, among other traders, who displayed their products along Koeberg Road making it difficult for people to use the pavements.

Councillor Fabian Ah-Sing encouraged people to log C3 complaints to make the City aware of such issues. He said he could help residents file their complaints.

Brooklyn resident Peter Currie complained about prostitutes at the drop-and-go parking bays at the MyCiTi bus stop in Justin Street.

Mr Currie, who lives opposite the parking bays, said he and his neighbours had to clean up there in the morning before the children went outside. Last Friday, he showed Tabletalk used condoms and empty alcohol bottles and what appeared to be an empty drug packet littering the grassy patch next to the four parking bays.

Cheryl Castle, chairperson of the Brooklyn Ysterplaat Neighbourhood Watch, said the main road looked “shoddy”.

“If we clean up the main road property values will go up,” she said.