Call to close bridges

2015-05-05 06:00

Daylight robberies, loitering and vagrancy have sparked the motion for the closure of certain bridges in Lotus River.

At the Rondevlei Subcouncil meeting held on Thursday 19 March, ward councillor Leslie Isaacs put in the motion due to rising crime and safety concerns.

Isaacs says the footbridges along the Big Lotus and Little Lotus canals were constructed for easy access to residents and also to support important infrastructure.

“The residents of Lotus River have brought forward many complaints about certain bridges in the area. Closing them off would be in the interest of their safety,” he says.

Isaacs says they have pointed out 12 footbridges in the area that have proven to be problem areas. Eight of these bridges are situated along the Lotus canal and the remaining four is situated along Big Lotus.

According to Isaacs the footbridges have become a concern to residents as they say “socially ill activities” take place at the identified footbridges.

“The community has raised its concerns at every opportunity to request the removal of some of these footbridges. It has been found that criminals use these bridges as an easy getaway route. Residents have even noticed prostitution activity taking place there,” Isaacs adds.

Added to these concerns, residents say the bridges are used for bunking by pupils.

“There is a huge concern when it comes to pupils using these bridges during the day. It has been noticed on a few occasions that they use the bridges as hideouts while they play truant.”

Isaacs says when complaints were received at his office, residents pointed out that many of the footbridges had missing hand railings as well.

“When children and the elderly use these bridges, they risk falling in because there are no safety measures. We need to make their safety a priority in this regard as well,” Isaacs says.

Due to the safety and security concerns, Isaacs says he has approached the police to increase their visibility in these areas.

“I requested that the police conduct regular patrols at these problem bridges. However, it seems these patrols are making no impact because the activity still continues.”

In an attempt to speed up the process to have the footbridges closed, residents signed a petition calling for their closure.


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