Murp off to a good start

2020-02-04 06:00
MURP Patrol Officer records graffiti to be removed from public infrastructurePHOTO:

MURP Patrol Officer records graffiti to be removed from public infrastructurePHOTO:

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The positive effects of the Mayoral Urban Regeneration Programme (Murp) on the Wynberg CBD and surrounding residential areas are already being felt.

Liz Brunette, councillor for ward 62, says she is encouraged by the progress made.

“Murp, along with active citizen groups, residents, business owners and the Wynberg Improvement District (WID) board, is taking on the work needed to uplift and regenerate the area. This will be done with the cooperation and support from the City’s service departments and Wynberg police.”

Since People’s Post last reported on the programme, a Murp precinct manager, Lennox Leyile, was appointed and an action plan was drawn up.

His key duties include managing the informal trading around the public transport interchange (PTI) and ensure by-laws are respected.

Brunette explains that many of the by-law and traffic enforcements depend on proper signage and road markings.

“There is a significant effort to ensure that all traffic and by-law offences can be addressed in the future to restore and maintain order in the area,” she says.

A team of monitors have also been deployed to the Wynberg CBD to assist in the management of informal traders.

“The monitors ensure that traders do not overtrade on their demarcated bays, that they only trade with a valid permit and adhere to the conditions of their particular trading permit,” says Brunette.

It is hoped the Murp’s R4 million operational budget and a R2 million capital budget will go a long way towards addressing the issues listed in the action plan.

These include precinct safety, security and law-enforcement; waste management, cleaning and sanitation; minibus taxi enforcement and regulation; informal trading regulations and management; poorly maintained public spaces and facilities; and addressing homelessness through social initiatives.

Brunette says repeated requests for law enforcement officers at the Wynberg PTI and in the Wynberg CBD will be funded via the operational budget, and capital upgrades will be identified for implementation this financial year.

“The Murp team will work in close cooperation with the WID service providers to make a difference,” she says.

An additional seven public safety officers have been deployed in the greater Murp area in addition to the patrol officers of the WID.

It is envisaged that the public safety officers will be replaced by law enforcement officers in the next year.

Gene Lohrentz, CEO of Geocentric – the management company of WID, says to date, the Murp public safety team has dealt with 399 public safety incidents, including the recovery of wheelie bins, assisting the public, cautioning persons not to transgress by-laws and assisting the police and law enforcement with operations.

In addition, the team records urban defects daily which are then logged as service requests with the relevant City of Cape Town service departments.

“The team has identified and logged 97 urban maintenance issues in the Murp area and have logged service requests with the City to rectify these issues,” Lohrentz says.

He says so far 12 of these defects have been repaired and the remaining 85 tasks have been scheduled. Incidents include leaking water meters, water valves and fire hydrants, replacing missing or broken drain covers on sidewalks, potholes and the removal of graffiti from walls as well as public infrastructure.

According to Brunette, some of the capital budget expenditure will be used to upgrade road surfaces in the area, improve street lights throughout the precinct and the upgrading of street signs and road markings.

“A well-maintained area is one of the key factors in combating crime as it portrays an area where the community cares and takes interest in their public spaces,” she says.

The Murp team encourages property owners to look at their property with a critical eye and to invest in upgrading it if needed.

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