Wynberg still battling crime and grime

Problem buildings in Ebor Road in Wynberg.

Crime and grime continue to plague Wynberg, a townhall-style meeting heard last week.

Ward councillor Liz Brunette called the meeting at the Church on Main.

Some 40 people were there, including Wynberg Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association members, the Wynberg Neighbourhood Watch, the two law enforcement officers employed from the ward allocation, and the Wynberg Improvement District (WID).

Ms Brunette said crime, which she claimed was linked to gambling outlets along the Main Road between Langley and Wetton roads, continued to be a problem.

Wynberg police were not at the meeting, but spokesperson Captain Ntombi Nqunqeka told the Bulletin that the situation had improved through regular patrols.

Ms Brunette said the City’s problem building unit would be bricking up windows and doors at various problem buildings in Ebor Road, Waterloo Green and Denbigh Road, which, she said, was sad because of the heritage status of the two houses on Waterloo Green.

The lane between Piers and Egglestone roads next to Pick * Pay remains open and, according to a resident, was only used by criminals.

Ms Brunette said she thought it had been closed.

Captain Nqunkeka said the lane belonged to the City and was a public road. Wynberg police had brought it to the attention of the traffic police.

Illegal taxi operators speeding off route and the lack of law enforcement around Wynberg station were also discussed.

Ms Brunette said the City’s transport department would launch its plans
for the Wynberg interchange next

She said about 60 000 commuters used the Wynberg interchange daily and it needed an upgrade.

A budget had been assigned but it was to be combined with MyCiTi.

The plan would be open to a public participation process.

Mikhail Manuel, of Claremont, who is doing a Master’s degree in transport at UCT, said after the meeting that residents would see a changing transport landscape in the years ahead with MyCiTi services, at least according to City estimates, replacing 70% of public transport capacity (minibus taxis and buses).

“That means that a remaining 30% of current public transport capacity will continue to operate on the trunk routes, but not in the dedicated lanes. Basically this means that there should be 70% fewer minibus-taxis on the trunk routes than there are today,” said Mr Manuel.

Minibus-taxis would continue to operate on the feeder routes, but offering a different sort of service.

“It’s envisaged that the minibus-taxi services will use e-hailing technology and will be demand responsive.

“The unscheduled minibus-taxi feeder services will integrate with the MyCiTi services through technology such as automated fare collection.

“The operating licences which minibus-taxis will require to operate on the trunk and on the feeder services will also be subject to improved safety, customer service and vehicle standards and operations that we are not accustomed to,” said Mr Manuel.

He said it had been City policy since 2010 to place emphasis on non-motorised transport (NMT), walking and cycling, which meant that pavements would be improved within 200m of the station entrances.

“This could look like better paving, more trees, improved signage with priority for walking. Cycle lanes will also be implemented for 500m from MyCiTi stations,” said Mr Manuel.