Big turn-out for Save Our Berea Campaign meeting

2013-11-28 00:00

CLOSE to 400 people attended the Save Our Berea Campaign meeting on held on Tuesday evening to express their frustrations, share their experiences and to plan a way forward for the neighbourhood.

Those attending the meeting at St Thomas’ Anglican church hall, Musgrave Road, ranged from local residents, members of community watch organisations to municipal officials

Cheryl Johnson, the driving force behind the campaign, urged those present to become involved in the fight to save what she termed “our once beautiful Berea”.

The meeting was chaired by lawyer Vernon O’Connell, and was initially addressed by sustainable development consultant Ezio (“Buzz”) Gori, Brad Nathanson, a crime expert and private investigator, and Richard Dob­son, a former consultant to the municipality who runs Asiya Etafuleni, an NGO working with the informal economy sector.

Each speaker gave perspectives from their areas of expertise on how to reverse the increasing degradation of the area. Gori suggested coming up with inventive solutions while Nathanson recommended cohesive local community action as a sure way to lower crime rates. Dobson said area-based management was back on the municipal agenda and that the municipality would be sympathetic to an approach along these lines.

When the meeting was opened to the floor, residents commented on their experiences and some of the solutions to deal with the main issues of concern: illegal building, crime, vagrancy and prostitution. One resident provided a detailed profile of a cat burglar currently active in the area (See story on page 1).

The meeting closed after a mandate was given to create a formal structure and committee that would engage directly with the municipality.

• The Bulwer Community Safety Forum will be holding an Anti-Prostitution Night Vigil from 5 pm to 11 pm on Friday at Baxter Park, Clark Road. Those participating are asked to bring a torch or candle, luminous placards and a chair. Phone Heather on 0 074 203 2792.

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