WRRA gives wrap on year’s lessons learned

The perception that crime is increasing in Wynberg is false, says Colonel Rufie Nel, of Wynberg police.

Colonel Nel was addressing the annual general meeting of the Wynberg Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association (WRRA) on Wednesday October 26.

“What is the perception of crime in Wynberg? The general feeling is that, over the last four years, it has increased. But it hasn’t,” he said.

He gave an overview of the different crime categories, saying there had been sharp drops in all but two categories: business burglaries and theft out of motor vehicles.

“We were one of the few stations that had no murders last year,” he said.

Colonel Nel said crime could be prevented by neighbours looking out for each other.

“The best way to prevent crime is to have a safe lifestyle,” he said. “And by looking out for each other. The amount of crime in an area does not depend on the number of police officers; it depends on the way that you live and the circumstances you create for crime.”

Colonel Nel had accompanied guest speaker Brigadier Nokuthula Mzila, Wynberg’s new station commander. Brigadier Mzila gave an overview of the challenges the station faces.

“Our mandate is to fight crime but we have other challenges, like #FeesMustFall.”

Brigadier Mzila said that officers from Wynberg station had been called in to assist with the #FeesMustFall protests.

The station also had a shortage of resources, Brigadier Mzila said.

This was the WRRA’s second AGM, since its inaugural one three years ago.

In her chairperson’s report, Kristina Davidson said the association had successfully appealed Heritage Western Cape’s (HWC) decision on the planned Palm House development after it was found that restrictions in the title deed had not been included in the developer’s application (“Palm House appeal granted,” Bulletin, September 22).

As a result of the ruling, the WRRA has registered with the HWC and now receives regular notifications about development applications.

Ms Davidson said that did not mean the WRRA would investigate each one because the committee members were volunteers and did not have the capacity to do so.

She encouraged residents to do their own investigations, and the WRRA would tell its members of any potential developments through its website and Facebook page.

She asked for anyone who was knowledgeable about heritage buildings to join the WRRA.

Ms Davidson said the WRRA had a member who regularly attended community police forum meetings on its behalf.

The meeting heard that the City had agreed to fence sections of the Wynberg canal (“Canal a crime hotspot,” Bulletin, April 21).

Ward councillor Liz Brunette said: “The City of Cape Town will fence the canal between Piers Road and Vriedenhof Road when funding is available. The stormwater department has requested funding and await a response. The fencing will prevent unauthorised people from climbing into the canal, and will have a gate so that City officials can access the canal for law enforcement, litter cleaning and maintenance purposes.”