Prasa promises ‘not kept’

2016-09-06 06:00
Residents of the Facreton/Kensington community have to face finding their way through this overgrown area to get to the station.  PHOTOS: Gary van Dyk

Residents of the Facreton/Kensington community have to face finding their way through this overgrown area to get to the station. PHOTOS: Gary van Dyk

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Residents of Kensington and Facreton feel that they are on the wrong side of the tracks when it comes to Century City Station.

On Century City’s side of the station there are neatly paved areas, access roads and lighting but it’s a different story on the other side.

Residents have to walk through an overgrown field, even though there is a pathway, but there’s no access road for cars and the “parking” area is unpaved with the area becoming a dumping ground with a stench from a broken drain permeating the air.

Mark Viljoen is one of the residents who is tired of trying to get some answers to the promises that were made to the community in 2010.

“We were told that this was going to be a ‘World Class’ facility built for the soccer world cup and a collaboration between the City of Cape Town, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) and the Rabie Property Group,” he says.

“Six years later and you see completely different views on both sides of the tracks. Our side is an overgrown piece of land that does not compliment the rich business hub of Century City.

“As a community we engaged with the City and Prasa on numerous occasions about the building and naming of this station and nowhere in the planning stages were we told, that the Kenfac side of the station, would not have access roads or reasonable infrastructure to make the area safer and more presentable. I don’t want to make this a race issue, but clearly this smacks of ‘who is more important and which side of the track you live on’.”

Viljoen adds that he is not the only resident who is calling for answers.

“I know that many people have been writing to the City and Prasa but they get no answers.

“The City continually say that it is not their land and forward the complaints to Prasa but it’s been six years and we have to face the criminal activity, cars are damaged, people are mugged and the illegal dumping is a major problem but Prasa does not care.

“A community that is a 100 plus years old still gets treated with disrespect and gets marginalized, 22 years into our democracy.”

This not the first time that residents are complaining about conditions at the station.

In March People’s Post reported on the concerns of the Acre Road Community Safety Watch who also called for urgent action but the situation is still the same (“Station users at risk”, 29 March).

At the time vice-chairperson of the organisation, Stanley van Breda, said that they continually monitor and patrol the area and notify the authorities of the safety needs but they don’t get any answers to help the situation.

“There have been so many incidents where people have been robbed at the station or while using it to cross from the shopping centre to get back home to Kensington,” he says.

“One of the major problems is that the security at the station just closes its doors after the last train, so criminals have free rein to do what they want.”

On Saturday 3 September People’s Post encountered the problem first-hand starting the non-existent road riddled with pot-holes and muddy sections from recent rains.

At the parking area a father from the area who did not want to be named waited patiently for his daughter to return from Century City.
“We just live (down the road),” he says pointing across the field. “There’s been too many muggings and the criminals hide in this long grass. I rather wait here and make sure that my family is safe, but they must really do something about this area. It’s a disgrace.”

At the time of going to print, Prasa had not responded.

On the Century City side all is neat and tidy.


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