Prasa denies ‘neglect’

2018-07-03 06:01
From right, are Woodstock police station commander, Colonel Dumezweni Ntsezo, Marius Wagner from Prasa and Law Enforcement Senior Inspector, Clinton Overmeyer, at a meeting to discuss Prasa’s alleged neglect of a Woodstock property.PHOTO: luvuyo mjekula

From right, are Woodstock police station commander, Colonel Dumezweni Ntsezo, Marius Wagner from Prasa and Law Enforcement Senior Inspector, Clinton Overmeyer, at a meeting to discuss Prasa’s alleged neglect of a Woodstock property.PHOTO: luvuyo mjekula

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The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has refuted allegations that it has neglected its property in Woodstock, leading to a rise in crime according to local residents.

The agency says it has been involved in resolving the matter and has now undertaken to immediately increase visibility through regular inspections in the area.

The locals complained recently that Prasa was not paying attention to their concerns.

Woodstock police station commander Colonel Dumezweni Ntsezo and ward councillor Dave Bryant led a meeting of various stakeholders in recent weeks, to seek solutions to the problem.

“We need a political intervention to ensure that things are happening, because [the neglected property] is affecting the community, it’s affecting business, the youth. We really do need a political intervention. Operationally we will continue but it is actually assisting an absent owner. That is what is frustrating. We are representing the interests of an absent owner,” Ntsezo said at the meeting in the local town hall on Tuesday 19 June.

Prasa has denied the allegations. “It is not true,” said Kaparo Molefi, the agency’s regional manager. “As Prasa, we are one of the committed stakeholders to assist and contribute to meet the objective where the subject area is free from illegal activities, vagrants and so on. Prasa has been part of a number of operations with the [local improvement district], other role-players and the City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement Department facilitated by Woodstock police in cleaning and clearing the subject area.

“To support the statement that this allegation is not true, we can confirm that Prasa was represented at the latest meeting convened on behalf of the Woodstock community on 19 June and Prasa was represented by two officials from our security operations at this meeting. Management further received feedback on Monday 25 June at the management operations meeting.”

Molefi says two officials from the agency’s security operations were at the property on Wednesday 20 June as part of a walkabout with other stakeholders to facilitate interim interventions. “These interventions will include actions joined with external stakeholders to embark on joint operations to combat crime.”

Molefi says Prasa would consistently engage with the already established forum, facilitated by the Woodstock police with planning sessions in establishing a sustainable process in addressing all the challenges in the area.

He says vacant buildings such as the ones in Woodstock are a priority for the agency “as the success of the latter mentioned will have a significant positive impact in the area and enhance the aesthetics to the benefit of all”. “Prasa has received interest on these challenging buildings and these are being assessed accordingly,” said Molefi.

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