Supply and demand cause of problems

2016-05-03 06:00
A man is seen sorting out his scrap material before he goes to sell it at a scrap yard on Military Road nearby . PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

A man is seen sorting out his scrap material before he goes to sell it at a scrap yard on Military Road nearby . PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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Scrap material is proving to be a headache for the Sharedon Neighbourhood Watch

The neighbourhood watch says crime is increasing and controlling it is “an impossible task” while scrap yards buy materials.

A well-known scrap yard which is a cause of concern is in Military Road. People stripping things apart simply sit just outside the scrap yard, says the neighbourhood watch, with some burning plastic off copper wires.

In the morning as they push their trolleys loaded with scrap material down the road, causing traffic jams, says Beatrice Twig, chairperson of the Sharedon Neighbourhood Watch.

She says they want the scrap yard gone and it will then be easy for them to control crime in the area.

“ It’s a health risk and the noise that they make when they knock and tear things apart is unbearable. We want the area they are working in closed. There is an old woman who lives right next to where they burn the copper wiring, and she is not in good health. So when they burn the copper cables it really makes the situation bad for her. On the other side we also have a surgery, and this is not good at all – we don’t need all this. It makes our area dirty and attracts more bad elements,” she says.

Twigg says what makes it even worse is that the things that the scrap sellers don’t need, are thrown into the canal next to the scrap yard.

“This is also affecting our canal. It’s very dirty. When they are things that they don’t need they throw in the canal.This is not on. They also start fires and leave them unattended and it’s a problem for us. If one day we don’t notice it quickly, it might become a problem. We want the scrap yard closed. It’s causing a lot of problems in the area.”

Ward councillor Marita Petersen says she is aware of the scrap yard and has directed a complaint of illegal occupation of land and activities to the Mayor’s office.

Captain Stephen Knapp, spokesperson for Muizenberg police, says they are aware of the scrap yard. The scrap yard is legal as they are in possession of a second-hand dealers licence. Regular operations are conducted by Muizenberg police, where all second-hand dealers, which include scrap yards, are inspected for compliance according to the Second-hand Dealers Act. No recent complaints have been received regarding this scrap yard, he adds

Jean-Pierre Smith, Mayco member for safety and security, says the City is aware of the scarp yard and the City’s metal theft unit has been dealing with complaints from residents questioning the legality of the scrap yard and allegations that stolen property is being bought at the scrap yard.

“The City’s Planning and Building Development Management Department is dealing with the building and land use contraventions. The owner of the business was previously arrested for being in possession of stolen property.

“This matter was handed to police. This business is not legal, despite being in possession of a Second-Hands Goods Certificate that was issued by the police. This means that the business is registered by the police as a second-hand goods dealer. In terms of the Second-hand Goods Act, the business is still supposed to comply with all other laws. In this case, this business is not in compliance with all laws and the second-hand goods certificate was not supposed to have been issued. Unfortunately the mandate to enforce the Act only resides with the police and that makes matters difficult for the City in the regulation of scrap metal dealers.”

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