Children are the true victims of Ebor Road squalor

Carol Swanson, Constantia

I am writing regarding the article (“Inside Wynberg’s ‘wrong turn’ squalor trap,” Bulletin May 12).

We purchased a building in Ebor Road, Wynberg in the late 1980s. I regret not taking any photos of Ebor Road at the time. It was a quiet street with a row of quaint heritage cottages painted white with green shutters and doors. There were well established avocado pear trees always bearing fruit.

During the late 1990s a known druglord purchased one of the cottages, the fate of Ebor Road was sealed.

After that, things quickly spiralled out of control. Soon there was litter, drug dealing, crime and prostitution. Police raids became the rule of the day.

I would like to rephrase the words of ward councillor Emile Langenhoven. The people are not trapped in squalor. They are creating and have created the squalor. They are, in fact, trapped in their lifestyle of drug abuse and crime. The true victims are the children born into this dysfunctional lifestyle.

After numerous robberies and vandalism to our property, we put it on the market. It stood for over a year.

Fortunately, out of the blue, someone purchased it. We know today that we were very lucky, otherwise we would have been forced to abandon it.

Mr Hedyt has found himself in a similar situation. He let out his building to tenants who were unable to pay their rent on a regular basis but refused to leave, and he was unable to evict them. With rising municipal bills and virtually no rent coming in and the building degenerating, he decided to cut his losses and abandon it.

A private company funded by Wynberg businesses has tried unsuccessfully to regularly keep the road clean as it is a serious health risk.

It is a Sodom and Gomorrah. Maybe the only way is to start over, demolish the problem buildings and allow a developer in.