Unkempt bowling club a haven for criminals

2012-02-27 00:00

THE neglected Scottsville Bowling Club has become a concern to its neighbourhood following a rise in crime.

Retired police officer Krishan Anandlal, who had his truck stolen from his home last week, told The Witness he had been telling the municipality about the deteriorating security situation over the past month.

“There used to be a municipal security guarding on the premises, but since he was removed it has become a haven for criminal activity,” he said.

“I am sure this could have been prevented if our street lights on New England Road were working and the long grass at the neglected bowling club had been cut by the Msunduzi Municipality,” Anandlal added.

Scottsville Primary School principal Bobby Nefdt said about two weeks ago thieves had broken into the school’s premises and taken electronic equipment.

Nefdt said: “I cannot point fingers at those who are said to be using the bowling club at night because we are only at the school during the day.

“However, theft at the school had not happened in years until recently.”

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Brian Zuma said he was sorry to learn about the theft of Anadlal’s vehicle. “But we all know that cars get stolen not only in the dark, but even in broad daylight,” he said.

He said the issue of the Scottsville Bowling Club was put on hold while the municipality was under provincial administration.

“Council has two options,” he explained.

“To lease it or to dispose of it.”

Zuma said a report has been prepared for the portfolio committee and would be sent to Executive Committee for a decision.

Zuma said that Scottsville’s bowling club was the only unused municipal bowling club, which was probably why it had been neglected.

“As for the security, we deploy [guards] where they are needed the most. The programme of lighting up the streets has already started in the Central Business District,” Zuma added.

Chairperson of the Alexandra Community Policing Forum, Simphiwe Gwala, said France, Scottsville and Grange were its most challenging areas in terms of crime.

“The municipality needs to help as well in such incidents where their property is now used by criminals,” he added.

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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