Thieves derail business

2018-07-19 06:01
Nonkqubela Informal Traders chairperson Vukile Sikeyi standing behind one of the containers that is on the verge of falling in the trench.PHOTO: unathi obose

Nonkqubela Informal Traders chairperson Vukile Sikeyi standing behind one of the containers that is on the verge of falling in the trench.PHOTO: unathi obose

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Members of the Nonkqubela Informal Traders association have lodged an appealing with the City of Cape to beef up security around the train station to prevent the cable theft.

They have said their stalls are on the verge of collapse due to criminals making trenches underneath containers to get their hands on the cables­.

The traders sell meat and vegetables to train and taxi commuters and the local people.

Chairperson Vusumzi Sikeyi said it was difficulty for them to operate because there are big trenches dug in front of their stalls.

“Some of the stalls are still closed because of the deep trenches in front of them.

“This started a fortnight ago and we reported to the City’s Transport and Urban Development Authority, who is responsible for our facility, and the ward councillor.

“We had an urgent meeting with the relevant authorities, regarding our situation, but nothing concrete came out of the meeting.”

Sikeyi said even with security guards around, the thiefs were brazen in their deeds.

Banda Mapholoba, who runs a meat stall, said their lives are in constant danger.

He was critical of the security officers for failing in their doing jobs of safeguarding the area. “Security officers on night duty stayed at home and they do not patrol­. Instead, they press the panic button to call the police or Law Enforcement only when there is something happening. The crime rate is escalating, especially here by the train station, because the criminals are targeting the cables,” said Mapholoba.

Thembokuhle Damba, from the City’s Transport and Urban Development Authority, confirmed the incident and said they are planning another special meeting with all the community stakeholders.

“I am aware about cable theft by the train station and it is not only happening there but to the whole of Khayelitsha.

“ We had a special meeting last Friday ... We agreed to have another meeting where will call all relevant stakeholders to find a way forward,” he said but didn’t confirm a date.

Ward 91 councillor Thando Mpengezi denied knowledge of the matter, but stated that he was not surprised by the incident because it is a challenge facing Khayelitsha.

“The issue of cable theft is a challenge that we are facing in Khayelitsha. Even now, I intend establishing a neighbourhood watch to patrol the area, but these guys stealing cables are operating at night and are very dangerous. We need to equip our patrollers,” he said.

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