Dumping drives residents to take action

2019-11-05 06:00
Kenfac Ratepayers’ Association wants a clean and safe railway station. They took a first step to improving its current state.

Kenfac Ratepayers’ Association wants a clean and safe railway station. They took a first step to improving its current state.

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After failed attempts to bring the landowners to the table, Kenfac Ratepayers’ Association is stepping in to tidy up their surroundings.

The association has established a monthly railway station clean-up initiative to improve the appearance of the Century City Railway Station, a property of Transnet.

The area is overgrown, unsafe and has become a hot spot for illegal dumping.

The association held its first clean-up, clearing about 30 metres between the station and Acker Road, on Saturday 26 October.

A group of nine people made up of committee members and residents pitched in to remove the overgrown grass and weeds. The group was led by the association’s illegal dumping steering committee.

Leslie John Swartz, the chairperson of the association, says the area needs to be cleaned, grass and bushes cleared and the land levelled. He says they will return later this month. He hopes more residents will join in.

Swartz says, over the years, the situation has gotten worse.

Lives have been lost and people have been traumatised.

He claims Prasa and Transnet have failed in their obligation of maintaining the property and have failed to engage with the community to reach an agreement about improving safety and maintenance of the property.

Swartz says some residents, who use the station to commute to work, have either been robbed or have witnessed illegal activities at the station. He says the station’s construction coincided with the 2010 World Cup, and was supposed to be the pride of the community.

“The station was developed to cater for future passenger growth and to serve the Century City development and the surrounding residential areas of Kensington and Factreton,” says Swartz.

“The area has become a site for illegal dumping which increases the instances of criminality. On several occasions, our community, through our association’s illegal dumping committee, has done clean-up operations in the locality of the station. However, safety and security remain a protracted problem with a huge mound of rubble and soil along the pedestrian pathway providing concealment for criminals,” he explains.

Riana Scott, the spokesperson for Metrorail, says Prasa is aware of the concerns and have elevated the matter to Transnet to take action.

She explains that the land on which Century City Station is built belongs to Transnet “who as asset owner is responsible for the area surrounding the station”.

“Our sister division Prasa Corporate Real Estate Solutions (Cres) will also assess cleanliness and sanitation within the station facilities,” says Scott.

Xanthea Limberg, Mayco member for water and waste, says the untidiness of the area is not due to a lack of cleaning but because of some members of the public dump their litter along a walk-way and other public spaces instead of in the bins.


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