Worry over vagrants

2015-11-24 06:00
A section close to the Claremont Train Station where the homeless have been living. PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

A section close to the Claremont Train Station where the homeless have been living. PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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Claremont residents next to the Claremont Station are worried about the number of the homeless people that have settled along the railway line and they want something to be done.

Their concern is that the number is increasing every day and the amount of litter is unbearable. The homeless have settled along the railway line close to the station and the others just outside the fence of the Metrorail yard.

Residents say Metrorail must take charge and fix the mess before it’s totally out of hand. Their concern is that most of the Metrorail fencing has holes and is damaged, making it easy for people to access their land and sleep on it. They want them to act before it becomes a health hazard.

When visiting the area of concern, People’s Post encountered a number of people who were folding their blankets to start their day. Some where outside the Metrorail parameters whilst others where inside. Some areas where heavily littered with clothes on the fence, showing that people where there. In some sections there were remains of fires which confirming the presence of people who have settled along the railway line.

Concerned resident Gail Morrison says it’s a health risk and they want something to be done.

“People can’t live like this. It’s a mess and before we know it, people will have rats coming into their homes. Metrorail must take charge and repair all the damaged fences so that no one will have access to their land. We have tried to do the clean up annually but that is not solving the problem. Many people get easy access because fences are broken and we want Metrorail to take responsibility and fix it.”

Resident Brian Steyn, says a lot needs to be done to prevent a rat infestation.

“If this place is left like this, we will see a lot of rats and people will get sick. I remember the other day I couldn’t even bring myself to finish the clean-up because of the mess. What we should remember is that those people don’t have toilets and they use nearby bushes to relieve themselves. So with time its smelling and so dirty that no one can even walk there. Besides all that – it paints a bad image about us when people pass by in trains and see the graffiti, all the clothes hanging and the litter.”

Morrison added that part of solving the problem should be increasing homeless shelters in the area. “This problem has to be tackled holistically. We can’t cope with just one home. Even if people do their best to donate beds, but the home is still small and the only one in the area, we are not solving the problem. Even if we give responsible by giving vouchers, what will happen when the home is full, is that people will go back to the street. Homelessness is caused by the economic downfall and it has to be dealt with accordingly by all people coming to the party. There is need for more shelters in the area.”

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