Footbridge lights up to fight drug dealing

2017-07-25 06:01
The council aims to secure the Railway foot-bridge in Woodstock.

The council aims to secure the Railway foot-bridge in Woodstock.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ward 115 councillor Dave Bryant has plans to turn the problematic Railway Street footbridge in Woodstock into a safe passage for pedestrians.

Bryant says the City of Cape Town has plans to implement a lighting design that will ensure the path has sufficient bright lighting that cannot be easily vandalised. This follows the recent construction of a sidewalk which has helped keep the railway clean.

According to him the area has been rocked by criminal activities, including robberies, prostitution and drug use. He says the council has plans to make the bridge a safe environment for pedestrians using the area to get to and from work daily.

He says: “We want to ensure that those who are working very long hours, often late into the evening, have peace of mind knowing that they are safe to cross Railway Street bridge without feeling threatened. I have consulted with the City’s roads department to come up with an implementable plan to ensure Railway Street becomes a safe space for pedestrians to use.”

Bryant explains that the Railway footbridge is an important link that allows local employees to easily get to public transport after work. During winter when it gets darker in early evening the place become more dangerous.

“Some pedestrians have fallen victim to robberies by criminals who hide out among vulnerable groups in an area under the bridge. While the police is the primary service provider when it comes to fighting crime, the City can do its bit by improving the state of previously neglected public spaces, thus helping to displace criminal elements,” says Bryant.

“We recognise that more will need to be done to make the area under the bridge inaccessible to potential criminals who want to target pedestrians. I would encourage all stakeholders and citizens to report suspicious behaviour to the police, so together the City and the people can help fight crime and keep our streets safe.”

According to Bryant the lighting plan is part of a project that started earlier this year in partnership with the police and the City’s Law Enforcement who conduct operations to deal with illegal activities occurring under the bridge. He says the partnership has led to a number of successful operations and arrests.

He says a first step in the intervention started in March with an intensive cleanup and painting the wall, followed by his meeting with representatives of Prasa and Transnet who helped in installing fencing around a large nearby vacant property. He says the fencing has managed to prevent illegal activities and squatters on their site.

Woodstock police spokesperson Sergeant Hilton Malila says the police conduct daily patrols at the bridge to assure the safety of pedestrians.

Malila says: “The area is [now] problematic with drug trafficking and prostitution. Our officers – on a weekly basis – make various arrests for dealing in drugs at the site. We are working hand in hand with the committee of council of Cape Town to safeguard the premises.”

He says people can report illegal activities directly to Woodstock Police Station by calling 021 442 3117.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.