Graffiti targets historic wall

2015-06-02 06:00
Half a dozen sites have been tagged by a group of City Bowl graffiti artists.

Half a dozen sites have been tagged by a group of City Bowl graffiti artists.

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Graffiti taggers have been warned to respect public spaces, after a City Bowl heritage spot was defaced.

A group of taggers left half a dozen illegal pieces of graffiti throughout the City Bowl, says ward councillor Dave Bryant.

The tagging, all done by the same group, were recently seen dotted through the Tamboerskloof, Bo-Kaap and upper CBD areas.

“This is not common in the City Bowl and most mural artists are respectful of public space in the area, especially heritage sites such as the historic Buitengracht Street stone wall,” he says.

Graffiti murals and artworks have to comply with City of Cape Town bylaws, which require an application, including a sketch of the proposed mural and permission by the site’s owner.

However, the tagging falls far from artistic murals, Bryant says.

“This sort of graffiti can only ­really be termed as vandalism. I have great respect for our immensely talented mural artists who have contributed incredible pieces in the CBD which add a great deal to the urban environment. The same can’t be said for this type of childish vandalism,” he says.

Removing graffiti as soon as possible goes a long way to prevent further vandalism, Bryant adds.

“I reported the graffiti to the City’s graffiti unit who removed everyone of the tags they could find within two days. The simple message to these sorts of vandals is that they are merely wasting their time and spraypaint by engaging in this kind of illegal tagging,” he says.

“The City will simply remove or paint over your tags when they are reported. Anyone wishing to contribute a piece of public art to the City can apply for a permit to do so and we will happily engage to see how we can assist.”

Graffiti in itself is unsightly in any neighbourhood but it is the knock-on effect that it can create that is the real area of concern, says Community Police Forum spokesperson Nicola Jowell.

“The presence of graffiti has been shown to be a direct contributor to the increase in other anti-social behaviour such as littering and drinking in public. There is a direct and very serious concern that it results in an increase in gang activity,” she says.

“We encourage all members of the community to keep an eye out for graffiti and report it as soon as possible so that it can be removed. The removal of graffiti is also a sign to everyone that people take care of their neighbourhoods and are looking out for their area and each other.”

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