Scrapyard ‘brings crime’

2015-10-27 06:00
Residents of 6th Avenue in Lotus River say they are fed up with the scrap yard trading in their road adding that it contributes to crime in their area. 

PHOTO: 
Chevon Booysen

Residents of 6th Avenue in Lotus River say they are fed up with the scrap yard trading in their road adding that it contributes to crime in their area. PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

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An alleged illegal scrapyard in Lotus River has gotten residents worried about their health and safety.

The business in 6th Avenue is a source of concern due to alleged rising criminal activity in the surrounds of the business.

According to residents the scrapyard has been open for over two years but it has come to a point where they can’t take it anymore.

A resident who just wanted to be identified as Rose, who lives next to the scrapyard, says criminals hit her home three weeks ago and this fuelled her frustration with the business.

“We had a new letterbox. It was up for at least two days, then it was stolen and I have a suspicion that it was done by one of the people who frequent my neighbour’s business,” she explains.

Rose says her family is living in hazardous conditions due to the dirt and scrap collected by business owner Irvin Adams.

She adds the family previously suffered from chest infections due to the rubble and dirt at Adams’s business.

“It is unhealthy living this way. We have rats running in our yard because of the scrap collected at the property. Last year during the December holidays my whole family had chest infections and even on Christmas Day we couldn’t enjoy our lunch because of how the place smelled all the time,” she says.

She is still concerned about her family’s health because the issue might become worse during summer again.

“You don’t even have to stand outside to get the stench of the dirt collected. The smell also attracts flies and this becomes unbearable in our home. We have children living here and they have to live in this condition, which isn’t fair,” she continues.

Another resident, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of victimisation, says she also has a problem with the scrapyard.

“These people gather here at all hours of the day and they sort their scrap in the road. The place looks filthy when they leave. Surely there is no way that this business could be run from here, seeing as it is in a residential area,” she says.

Both residents concur that business starts early in the morning and carries on into the late hours of the evening.
“They do not have a time here. At first the owner said he just collects plastic. But that’s lies because he collects copper and all sorts of scrap as well,” they add.
Business owner Irvin Adams confirms he has registered with the police to trade in second-hand goods.

He showed People’s Post documents that an application for land use had been submitted in 2013.

Adams could however not say how far the process is at this stage.
Lee-Ann Adams, daughter of the business owner, claims Rose is “just jealous”.
“It is because we do not want to lend her money anymore. Now she wants to be spiteful. The business has been in the area for how long, why is there only a problem now?” she asks.

Lee-Ann Adams claims the business has an operating licence, but a representative of the City of Cape Town says it is illegal.

JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, adds that the City has received complaints about the scrapyard.

“Officers have issued two fines to date for using the property for business purposes without the City’s consent. In addition, the contravention of the land use is being handed over to the department dealing with such matters,” Smith says.

He adds second-hand businesses (including scrapyards) are registered with the police as second-hand goods dealers and not with the City. He says the owner has not applied to the City for rezoning or a departure for land use.
“The owner can be fined or arrested by the police if the business is not ceased upon instruction. The metals purchased and the scale can be confiscated by the police.
“From the City’s side, fines can be issued for contravention of the land use ordinance if the property is not zoned for business,” Smith adds.

Smith says metro police have not conducted any operations on the property.

“However, the City’s metals theft unit has issued two fines to date for utilising the property for business without the City’s consent. Residents can report the matter to the City of Cape Town for investigation by the planning and building development management department, as well as the City’s fire and rescue service and health department.
“Also, in the event that the dwelling from which the business is being run is City rental stock, the matter can also be reported to the local housing office,” Smith says.
Grassy Park police spokesperson Warrant Officer Wynita Kleinsmith says police are aware of the scrapyard but confirms the owner was registered at the police station in terms of the Second Hand Goods Act.

To report second-hand businesses that should be registered with the Grassy Park police, contact Warrant Officer Shaun Whiteman on 021 700 9324.




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