Issues in Parklands

Ruan Robberts, Parklands

I am a resident of Chippenham Crescent, Esplanada complex. It’s sad to see what is going on in Parklands Main Road. This area needs serious attention and very soon.

The most disturbing activities during the day are the minibus taxis. From Sandown Road, where Parklands Main starts, down towards the R27, thousands of people live in that area.

The whole day, until early morning hours, minibus-taxi drivers are hooting non stop. Clearly they have no respect for the inhabitants.

Hundreds of people are working night shift, sleeping during the day, it’s impossible for them to sleep. This hooting is driving us insane! This continues Monday to Sunday.

This is a highly populated residential area, so a suggestion would be to put up no-hooting signs.

We’ve had an incident where police were called because minibus taxis used the pavement in front of Esplanada complex as a taxi rank.

They played their music so loud that we had to call the law.

I’ve contacted Parklands Home Owners’ Association as well and supplied them with a picture where they blocked the road, making it impossible to see oncoming traffic. This was an accident waiting to happen.

We have also had hawkers in front of the building facing the main road and vehicles stopping in the road to purchase something from them. How can this be allowed in front of a residential building? They don’t even have a business licence. It’s an illegal activity. They are selling their goods in late afternoon peak traffic hours.

Prostitution is another issue. Driving down Parklands Main Road at night on your way home is disgusting! Prostitutes are standing at the stop signs when you stop, they approach you immediately, and on Sunday night, one tried to open my door.

Homeless people are camping out at night on the pavement in tents next to a substation, opposite Maroela bar to be exact.

They appear to be there during the day as well. Police and Law Enforcement just drive by and don’t do anything.

This is affecting property values and giving this suburb of a well-run city a very bad name.

Area north Mayco member Suzette Little responds:

Unfortunately, taxis disregarding the provisions of the National Road Traffic Act is a problem all over the city. The City’s traffic service conducts enforcement operations in as many areas as possible, including Parklands.

However, given our finite resources, we are not able to be everywhere all of the time. Our enforcement efforts include issuing fines for traffic transgressions but also checking for permits and ensuring that taxis on the road are operating legally.

Our traffic officers regularly impound the vehicles of taxi drivers who have no operating permits or are operating in contravention of their permit conditions.

The City has issued nearly 45 000 fines to taxi operators in just over three months since the beginning of 2018. As of April 9 this year, officers had issued 44 937 fines to taxi drivers across the metro for a range of contraventions.

These fines include 9 560 for moving violations, 8 695 for unlicensed drivers, 6 143 for overloading, 4 211 for not wearing a safety belt, 1 948 for not displaying a vehicle licence disc and 1 597 fines for unlicensed motor vehicles.

Law enforcement agencies will carry out interventions, provide assistance, and continue their visible policing to prevent any unlawful and illegal activities.

The City calls on residents to report any traffic issues to City’s 107 number (from a landline) or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or to the Safety and Security Communication Centre at 021 596 1999.

The City’s social development and early childhood development street people reintegration unit is well aware of this area as a hot spot for street people.

This area is included in our joint operations with law enforcement.

Street people in the area are offered social assistance including access to shelters, application for IDs, grants, Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) opportunities, relocation to their place of origin and reunification with family. These services are accepted on a voluntary basis.

The department can’t force any person to accept the services offered. Street people are entitled to freedom of movement as outlined in the Bill of Rights. Also, it is not illegal to be homeless.

However, like everyone else, street people are expected to abide by the laws of the country and the by-laws of the City.

Bearing in mind the City’s finite resources, the unpredictability of the individuals complained of, and that the City has no control over these individuals, the City’s social development department will continue with efforts to engage and attempt to relocate the street people.

Law enforcement will continue patrolling the area and remove any unlawful structures and attend to by-law contraventions.

Members of the public may contact the City’s toll-free number on 0800 872 201 to see how they can assist street people.