‘Unsafe’ stop must go

2016-03-01 06:00
Residents want this bus stop in Lavender Hill gone because, they say, it is a hiding spot for drug dealers and robbers.  PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

Residents want this bus stop in Lavender Hill gone because, they say, it is a hiding spot for drug dealers and robbers. PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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Residents who stay close to the shaded bus stop on the corner of Military Road and Grendal Avenue in Lavender Hill are calling on the City of Cape Town one more time to remove it.

Residents say the bus stop makes them easy targets of crime. They say some robbers hide behind the bus stop whilst others hide on top of the bus stop and they pounce on people waiting for transport.

The bus stop was used by buses and minibus taxis, but none of them stop there now. Commuters have gone back to the old bus stop which doesn’t have a shade and is next to the one they are complaining about.

The bus stop is also allegedly used by gangsters when they fight, so the residents are saying they don’t want it anymore.

A resident, who spoke to People’s Post on condition of anonymity, says their lives are in danger.

“We can’t even send our children to the shops because there is always someone waiting there for them. We don’t want this bus stop anymore. We have tried to get our ward councillor to get it removed but nothing has been done. We are still asking the City to remove it. If they don’t do it we will be forced to chop it off ourselves. We are in danger here and the bus stop is useless. No-one uses it because standing there is like throwing yourself in the mouth of the crocodile.”

Another resident, who preferred to remain anonymous for fear of victimisation, says the situation is out of control.

“We have had enough. Having it removed will be better. When you go to the shop you have to be on the lookout all the time. We want to do things the right way, but if our calls are not heard we are left with no option. We will have to remove it. Kids coming from school are scared to even walk past there but they have no choice. Removing it will really save us.”

Brett Herron, Mayco member for transport, says the City of Cape Town has not received any complaints about this specific bus stop.
But after People’s Post brought residents’ concerns to his attention, the City surveyed commuters and residents last week.

“On Wednesday morning officials interviewed commuters who make use of this bus stop, as well as residents living in the vicinity of the bus stop.Neither the residents nor the commuters who were interviewed indicated that they had an issue with the bus stop or the shelter that is being provided. In fact, those who were interviewed during the survey were concerned about the possibility that the roof or shelter may be removed, as this protects commuters from rain during the winter months.

“Given the responses received during the survey, the City will not take any action to remove the shelter. It is important to note that criminal activities should be prevented and investigated by the police, who are mandated with this function. The long-term solution to crime does not, in my opinion, reside in removing City-owned infrastructure. This much-needed infrastructure is to the benefit of commuters and serves a very important purpose.”

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