Wynberg in need of intervention

Business people say there are too many criminal activities in Station Road.

Wynberg business people are speaking out against criminal activities taking place in Church and Station roads in broad daylight.

They are calling on the Wynberg Improvement District (WID), Law Enforcement and SAPS to work together to curb crime.

Business owners, some who have been trading for more than 30 years, said they have been experiencing a slump in sales due to the increase in crime since December last year.

They say drug peddling is rife and they are also not impressed with SAPS and law enforcement’s lack of policing and visibility.

They say when the police patrol in the roads where drug peddling takes place, no one gets arrested.

The owners would like daily patrols and action against these criminals to “catch them in the act”.

The conditions in that area are deteriorating, they say, with drug dealing and informal trading on the road, and they want something to be done to preserve the area and make it a safe place to shop.

Suaib Moolah, who has been trading for 11 years, said the conditions will not be addressed if the three role-players do not communicate and network with the community.

“How are we going to correct issues if WID do not report crime after patrolling in the area?”

He said business is not as good as a few years ago because of the economy but added that there are also fewer sales because people are scared to come to the area.

Faizel Chotia has been operating his shop for over 30 years and said it was burgled a few years ago.

WID’s security guards now come to check if the shop is okay and confirm this by signing in a book. “We pay plus minus
R900 rent every month and the area is still not secured,” said Mr Chotia.

Athol Swanson, spokesperson for the WID, said the issue needed to be taken up with police. He said: “Insofar as reported crimes are concerned you will need to speak to the SAPS but through our involvement with the Sector 1 CPF we haven’t noted a major increase in ‘reported crime’ in the area.”

Mr Swanson said the WID primarily provides a top-up cleaning and public safety service to that provided by the City, within its boundary. “We work closely with the various City directorates including law enforcement as well as the Wynberg SAPS and continually report activities requiring their attention.”

Mr Swanson said the Wynberg Public Transport Interchange has approximately 17 000 commuters passing through each day.

“The City can provide you with information on CCTV, interchange upgrade plans and law enforcement.”

Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for Transport and urban development, said: “The upgrade of the minibus-taxi facility will form part of the future roll-out of Phase 2A of the MyCiTi bus service.”

Richard Bosman, the City’s executive director for safety and security, said criminal activities such as traffic violations, loitering, street people erecting illegal structures and illegal trading are prevalent in the area.

He said the City’s enforcement agencies conduct patrols of the identified hot spots in association with the SAPS, focusing on by-law transgressions but also crime in general.

Mr Bosman said SAPS is the primary agency responsible for crime prevention. “That said, the City’s law enforcement agencies partake in regular joint and autonomous operations in the area, resources permitting.”

Wynberg police was asked for a response on Thursday May 31 which was followed up with numerous phone calls, but they did not respond by the time of going to print.