Vagrants harass clients

2019-07-01 15:00
City Hallâ??s Clock tower keeps ticking. The Msunduzi municipality has managed to keep ahead of the problem the pigeons keep dropping. Photo. Jonathan Burton8BIM

City Hallâ??s Clock tower keeps ticking. The Msunduzi municipality has managed to keep ahead of the problem the pigeons keep dropping. Photo. Jonathan Burton8BIM (File)

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Unruly vagrants are chasing away customers on Hoosen Haffejee Street.

In what is yet another challenge facing businesses on that street, vagrants said to have come from the now demolished Ematsheni Beer Hall are harassing customers and loitering outside buisnesses.

Msunduzi has plans to rebuild the beer hall, but a previous contractor was unable to build it in the allocated time, meaning the tender needed to be re-advertised.

Meanwhile, businesses on Hoosen Haffejee Street are struggling with issues of filth, a lack of parking, crime and “pavement mechanics” unlawfully fixing cars on the street, as reported previously in The Witness.

One business owner said the vagrants temporarily moved from the CBD when the beer hall closed down, which did lead to improved business — but that was short lived.

He claimed the vagrants were now living in another building on the street. “Now we have a new and destructive situation in our street ... From morning until late in the evening they loiter outside our businesses and on the road, scaring customers away.

“It has come to a stage where some of us just want to close up and relocate. Where do we go since some of us here have been in business for over 40 years?”

Businesses on Hoosen Haffejee Street previously were so fed up with a lack of services from Msunduzi that they refused a proposal by the City to create a business-funded initiative to improve security and cleanliness.

Msunduzi confirmed it had received complaints about vagrants from businesses. “During the clean-up campaigns that the municipality has embarked on, the mayor [Themba Njilo] interacted with some of these people in various areas and they raised a number of issues which they required assistance with.

“The municipality has communicated with the Department of Social Development seeking an intervention in order to provide assistance. The municipality has plans for the Matsheni site, a report has been submitted by the sustainable development and city enterprises unit to the structures of council and once adopted, the plans will be communicated,” spokesperson Ntobeko Ngcobo said.

Read more on:    vagrants

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