Rocklands facility will be rebuilt

2015-06-30 06:01
Broken tiles and smashed windows are examples of the evident vandalism of the clubhouse at the Rocklands sports complex in Weltevreden Road. The building has become a crime hub after security was cut at many City of Cape Town facilities. Officials sa

Broken tiles and smashed windows are examples of the evident vandalism of the clubhouse at the Rocklands sports complex in Weltevreden Road. The building has become a crime hub after security was cut at many City of Cape Town facilities. Officials sa

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After downsizing the security budget for most City of Cape Town facilities, several buildings have been vandalised and used as hubs for illegal activities.

The clubhouse at the Rocklands recreation facility is no exception.

In recent months the clubhouse has been used as a spot for criminal activities, drug sales and use and sexual acts.

One resident who lives near to the facility says she and other residents are concerned about it.

“Our homes are not safe. People use our yards as a thoroughfare to get to the club. At night it sounds like a horror show. Often we wake up at 03:00 to girls screaming and there is nothing we can do about it,” she says.

Security is stationed at the facility but little has been done to stop the activities, says the woman.

Security alternatives were meant to be implemented at the facility.

Ward councillor for the area Elton Jansen says he is aware of the issue and has reported it to the authorities.

“I have informed them of the problematic building. Residents say they want the building demolished but it is up to the departments to decide what happens to it,” he says.

Jansen believes that the building’s deterioration is as a direct result of the budget cut.

Belinda Walker, mayoral committee member for community services and special projects, explains that the sport, recreation and amenities department has had to cut back on security personnel at some facilities to remain within the allocated budget in the current financial year for security services.

“This department manages a large number of public facilities across the city and we are heavily reliant on the police, metro police and the local community for assistance in safeguarding these facilities. Officials at the various facilities are continuing to establish partnerships with organisations like neighbourhood watches to assist us in deterring theft and vandalism at our facilities,” she says.

Walker continues that the City is grateful that locals have helped by providing additional security at many sports complexes.

“It must be borne in mind that the more people who use our facilities in a responsible manner, the safer they become as our users provide increased surveillance and monitoring, which deters criminals. Furthermore, in addition to the hardening of those facilities which are known to incur targeted vandalism, the City is also trying to build safety into our designs for future community facilities,” she says.

In future, Walker says, the City will aim to avoid building stand-alone facilities but rather plan to cluster community facilities together in order to share security and increase usage.

This, coupled with the violence prevention through urban upgrade (VPUU) unit, means the City is looking at innovative designs which provide clear sight lines between City facilities and the surrounding neighbourhoods.

For now the alternative security measures for the existing Rocklands sports complex include security upgrades and repairs.

“There is a section of the fence which will be repaired in the new financial year. We are going to secure the damaged buildings, following which, the second building will be repaired. The damaged building will be repaired and it will be hardened with security gates, burglar bars and roller shutter doors and the building will not be demolished,” Walker says.

The plumbing and electricity have been repaired at a cost R220 000.

Additional money will be spent on repairs and the implementation of alternative security measures in the new financial year which starts tomorrow. V

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