Corner of crime

2016-03-22 06:00
Business owners in Wynberg say a drop in customers are due to crime problems emanating from Langley and Main roads.  PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

Business owners in Wynberg say a drop in customers are due to crime problems emanating from Langley and Main roads. PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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Business owners in Wynberg say they are experiencing the devastating effect of crime in their area as they are losing money.

Though crime is affecting the whole of sector 1 those who are feeling the hardest pinch are close to Langley and Main roads.

The criminal activities here include drug dealing, drug use, prostitution, loitering, overcrowding and health and fire hazards.

Most of these criminal activities originate from the corner of Main and Langley roads and filter through the neighbourhood. Those who have businesses there say they are losing customers.

Ikraan Majiet, a business owner, says the situation is out of hand and he and his fellow business owners are finding it difficult to thrive in the situation.

“There is a lot going on. Drugs, used condoms and loitering are impacting us badly. People don’t come into the shop anymore,” he says.

“When I started my business I would have maybe 20 or more people coming into the shop, but now if I’m lucky five customers are just too much. On some days I go without customers.

“There was a woman who came here for the first time. As she was trying to park her car, someone was just standing in the parking [spot] and the person didn’t want to move. He was so rude to my customer. Though I apologised I haven’t seen her again in the shop.

“Now people think twice before they come into the shop because they don’t know whether they should trust these people who are just standing outside. Now we are surviving on loyalty and we don’t know how long that will last,” he says.

Break-insMajiet adds that business break-ins are increasing too.

“This shop has been broken into twice. Most of the shops along the road have been broken into. Though in some instances the burglars were interrupted, the damage is way too much for small businesses to handle,” he says.

Another business owner who has been in the area for more than three decades says times are tough and she is even thinking of packing up.

“The main road has changed and a lot of businesses are affected. What makes it bad is when you talk about these bad elements, you become a target,” she says.

Business owners suggest that police increase their visibility. They are also calling for more foot patrols to deal with people who are loitering.

Lieutenant Ntomboxolo Nqunqeka, spokesperson of Wynberg police, says they are doing everything they can in the area.

“We do patrols. There is a discussion of having cameras – we hope that will help a lot. We are also calling on business people to report every crime and any suspicious behaviour as quickly as possible so that we act fast and catch the criminals. We must work together to improve the area.”

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