Crime cramps businesses

2017-10-24 06:01

A business owner in Kensington says criminals and unsafe infrastructure in the area are forcing him to move his business out of the suburb.

Ernest Rhodes has run his engineering business in 15 Avenue for years, but says it has become too costly as he is forced to pay for unforeseen costs due to robberies and fire.

He says his car has been broken into more than once inside the business premises and it worries him that the number of business robberies is growing. He fears for his property and staff.

“It has become scary being in Kensington. The gang violence and robberies put us at risk.

“We have seen people being killed and some attacked in their own businesses and not much is done about that. After the last break-in on Wednesday 11 October, I decided that we must move out of here. The lease ends in December.”

He also complains about the poor infrastructure which has cost him about R50 000 after a fire broke out at the building.

He says the building has not been maintained for years and the electrical wires are old and dangerous.

Two welding machines, the wall, roof and other properties were severely burned after a cable broke and stripped power at the building on Thursday 12 October at around 18:00.

According to reports, at least four business break-ins have taken place in Kensington since the beginning of this month.

Police spokesperson Sergeant David Stemmet says they are investigating a number of business crimes.

He says while he cannot provide the number of reported cases he can assure the community that police take the matter ­seriously.

Stemmet says the situation has not worsened and that they are normal break-ins like in any other suburbs.

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