‘Drug hotspot’ headache

2015-09-29 06:00
This property on the corner of Retreat Road and 10th Avenue is allegedly the scene of drug dealing and gang activity. 

astrid februarie

This property on the corner of Retreat Road and 10th Avenue is allegedly the scene of drug dealing and gang activity. PHOTO: astrid februarie

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A busy intersection in Retreat is causing a headache for residents and business owners as drug sales allegedly continue there.

Ward councillor Kevin Southgate says the corner of Retreat Road and 10th Avenue has been reported on numerous occasions to both police and the City of Cape Town law enforcement.

“Several days ago a local businessman witnessed the sale of drugs in broad daylight. The intersection is a busy one and I acknowledge that sometimes these things can go by unnoticed,” he says.

Southgate says because of all the “unsavoury elements” hanging out on the corner business people are making a concerted effort to address these issues. “There is, however, only so much that can be done by the community. Gangs have occupied the space behind the shop where illegal structures were erected.”

Southgate adds that metro police have been seen visiting the property, but very little has changed.

“The business on the opposite side of the road had its CCTV cameras vandalised because they were focused on the notorious corner.

“Since this road serves as the entrance to the industrial area, businesses are complaining of the negative impact these activities are having on their businesses,” he says, adding that clients are refusing to come to do business because they feel intimidated by the youngsters standing around on the street corners.

“Neighbours have been complaining about banging in the early hours of the morning and alleging that this is the time they return with their stolen loot and prepare for sale in the morning. I’m not sure if the property owner has been contacted about the problems emanating from his property,” he says.

Gangs observedA metro police official confirmed the location has been investigated, and it was confirmed that the complaint was accurate. “The premises directly behind the store seem to be the biggest problem, with some of the suspected gang members moving to and from the premises. This complaint will be ongoing with future return visits,” says Southgate

He says residents are now at wits’ end and asking what more has to happen before something substantive is done.

“The allegations of drug dealing from this property has become a reality as people are seen daily plying their trade from there. There is no doubt that gangsters inhabit the property. The allegations of firearms on the property continue,” he says.

Southgate has requested that a comprehensive inspection be carried out at this property to see whether it is compliant with health and safety and other regulations. He wants to apply the full might of the law to address illegal activity, even if the building must be condemned or declared a problem building, he says.

“It is unacceptable that people who have invested hundreds of thousands into their properties and businesses are subjected to this type of criminal activity which is allowed to continue unabated,” he says.

At the time of going to print Steenberg Police Station had not responded to questions sent to them with regard to the property

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