Parkwood protests

2017-05-30 06:01
Children lead the protest march in Parkwood on Sunday.PHOTO: gary van dyk

Children lead the protest march in Parkwood on Sunday.PHOTO: gary van dyk

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Parkwood residents took to the streets to demand some positive responses to problems in the area.

On Saturday the Voice of Parkwood (VOP) organisation protested on Prince George Drive and on Sunday they took to the streets and handed over a memorandum to representatives from The City of Cape Town.

Pastor Paul Phillips from VOP explains that they directed their memorandum to the office of the executive mayor of Cape Town Patricia de Lille and to the premier Helen Zille.

“We want to highlight our dissatisfaction of the blatant ignorance in dealing with the concerns and issues that we raised over the past few months,” he says.

“It is terrible that our youth continue to be slaughtered, our senior citizens are traumatised and our children are constantly at risk.”

He adds that the organisation also holds the mayor and all concerned responsible for many other problems experienced in ­Parkwood.

“There is a mess as far as housing is concerned with illegal evictions of innocent residents instead of the eviction of those who use the council rented stock for drug dealing and illegal activities.

“These problems lead to the rapes, murders, gangsterism and crime.”

Zara Nicholson, spokesperson for mayor Patricia de Lille, has replied pointing out the the mayor instructed the local ward councillors, Elgan Fortune and William Akim, to accept the memorandum on her behalf.

She also explained that the City evicts residents from rental properties for three reasons only.

“Evictions are done for anti-social behaviour such as drug dealing and operating a shebeen, unlawful occupation and non-payment of rent,” she says.

“There is zero tolerance for drug dealing and selling alcohol as it is prohibited in terms of the agreement of lease.

“The City’s Social Housing Unit within the Law Enforcement Department works with the Tenancy Management Department to deal with illegal activities in rental stock.”

Nicholson also explains that obtaining eviction orders for drug dealing and shebeen operations has proven to be very challenging as the court expects the City to prove the criminal intent which is very difficult as City is reliant on law enforcement agencies to assist with the difficult task of building evidence.

“Currently there are approximately 70 cases with the City’s Legal Services Department and over 300 cases being investigated by the various offices. The key issue is that it takes too long to effect evictions. It takes, on an average, 18 months to conclude and sometimes as long as nine years.”

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