Residents fear after vagrants move in

2018-03-20 06:00
The private owned land on the corner of 4th Avenue and West Street in Grassy Park PHOTO: aishah cassiem

The private owned land on the corner of 4th Avenue and West Street in Grassy Park PHOTO: aishah cassiem

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A group of vagrants who previously occupied a private piece of land in Victoria Road, Grassy Park, has moved locations since People’s Post visited the site last month (“Dreams of beautiful spaces”, People’s Post, 27 February) and have now erected shelters just metres down the same street.

Concerned residents say the occupants, who include alleged drug addicts, are putting up structures in front of their doorsteps and are indulging in alleged illegal activity in the presence of school-going children. This comes after the owners of the property fenced off the area on which they previously lived.

A gathering attended by angry stay-at-home moms and pensioners took place on Wednesday to discuss the issue. A petition demanding the vagrants’ removal and the fencing off of the settlers’ new home on the corner of 4th Avenue and West Street was signed by more than 100 residents in the street in one day and is set to be handed over to relevant parties, including the ward councillor. “Since the vacant plot on the corner of 4th Avenue and Victoria Road was fenced off two weeks ago, the inhabitants have since moved to the privately-owned plot just opposite us. They have erected unsightly shacks and they have become a serious health hazard,” says resident Ferouza Khan.

“They bathe, defecate and have intercourse in broad daylight with no regard for the passersby and neighbours. They consume alcohol and have regular fights at all hours. Their foul language prevents the neighbours from having a peaceful night’s sleep. The plot has also become a dumping ground as the recycling entrepreneurs use it whilst they sort out their plastics and metals.”

Residents are now demanding that the owner be contacted and forced to clean up the property, as well as erect a secure fence. “We don’t know who the new owners are, but they must do regular checks on the property because the inhabitants will most likely damage their fencing in future. The previous owners of the piece of land went through a lot of trouble trying to accommodate the neighbours by putting up a fence that was damaged and pulled down all the time. They need to see that nobody enters by putting up stronger fencing. We have also been contacting the ward councillor since last year. She promised to look into the issue and get back to us, but she never did. We are calling for her assistance in trying to locate the owners and to put in place programmes to remove issues like this in the Grassy Park area.”

Ward councillor Shanen Rossouw and the City of Cape Town say in a joint response that a site visit was conducted and a notice was sent via registered mail to a company called Nisavox (Pty) Ltd, with regard to the condition of the property.

The registered notice of contravention was not collected by the owner and was then returned to the Plumstead Registry and collected from the Plumstead Environmental Health Office on Monday. “A contact number was obtained and it was established that the owner resides in Kirstenhof.

The City contacted him telephonically and informed him of the current conditions of overgrowth, vagrancy and illegal dumping on his property, and he assured that he will see to the aforementioned issues. A notice expiration date of 19 April will be delivered to the Plumstead Environmental Health Office for signature and then it will be delivered personally to the newly acquired address.”

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