Station subway made safer to use

2015-09-29 06:00
Maxwell Tobias of the Claremont Improvement District Company paints over graffiti in the Draper subway at Claremont train station.

Maxwell Tobias of the Claremont Improvement District Company paints over graffiti in the Draper subway at Claremont train station. PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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Train station subways are vulnerable spaces. The Claremont Improvement District Company (CIDC) is not leaving anything to chance, because people end up not using trains, fearing for their safety in subways.

Subways have been associated with crime and they are an easy target for graffiti vandals.

In making sure that train commuters are safe the CIDC has organised for the Draper subway light, which was not working for the past few months, to be fixed. CIDC workers repainted a portion of the wall where there was graffiti.

The CIDC has also posted a security guard to be on the lookout all the time as commuters go in and out of the subway to use the station.

Abdul Kerbelker, CIDC executive manager, says the safety of the community comes first and they are doing everything they can to ensure that they are kept safe.

“It was an ongoing issue as to who owns the subway. It has been a pull and drag between the City of Cape Town and Metrorail, but we finally got the City to fix the light. It was out for months and that put a lot of commuters in great danger – something had to be done. We are glad that there is light there and people can walk with ease.

“We have always cleaned the graffiti which was in the subway, because it gives a good impression and a sense of comfort to the people who use the subway,” he says.

Kerbelker adds that though it might not be possible to have security there throughout the day he is there when he is needed.

“We have a lot of people who come to this area and we want them to be comfortable in the area and when they are using the train. The security will be more visible all the time.

“We are glad that crime is low and we want to keep everyone safe, because a safe community attracts a lot of people. We are seeing a lot of people coming to our area and we don’t want that to be compromised,” he says.

One train commuter, James du Toit, says it has been a nightmare using the subway because it was very dark.

“Walking there was putting your life in danger. Especially when it’s winter it was getting dark early, so I would make sure that by the time the sun sets I’m closer to home and not use the subway. We really appreciate that there is a security guard as well because at times the station is quiet and that’s when thieves take a chance. But if they see that there is someone on guard they won’t do anything. It really makes us feel safe and we appreciate the effort they are doing in making Claremont a better place,” he says

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