A clean-up at Lansdowne train station has been well-received by residents.
The clean-up on Monday last week was arranged by Noel Crowie, newly-elected chairperson of the Kenwyn Ratepayers’ Association, and ward councillor Anthea Green together with law enforcement and the anti-land invasion unit.
The initiative was spurred on after Crowie raised his concern about illegal structures built around the station attracting vagrants.
One resident and regular commuter, Audrey Friedland, says: “I am very happy that they did something about the state around the station. It looked very untidy, but now it looks much better.”
It ensures that residents and commuters “are no longer intimidated by the overwhelming environment”.
“Usually when one came here you walked into someone’s home basically, with vagrants living around here. Also, you did not know who actually lived here or not. Faces changed often,” she adds.
“People were often robbed here near the station and you couldn’t differentiate if they actually lived near or around the station in case you needed to make a case at the police station,” she says.
But with the clearer space, she says, people will be able to be more vigilant now.
“With no structures up you know people are not supposed to live around or sleep there. We were also told to call the anti-land invasion unit if we do see people starting to shack up there again. I just hope the community takes responsibility this time around by caring for the space and not allowing unsavoury characters to hang around and harass residents and commuters,” Friedland says.
Crowie says they are trying to keep the place clear.
“We have been getting assistance from law enforcement, the anti-land invasion unit and social development. We have found, however, that these people will move back to the area around the station,” he says.
“We want to assist with alternatives. These are people who need our help at the end of the day,” he says.
Crowie adds that they have submitted a proposal to Green for a park-and-ride facility at the station that will be fenced off.
“This has already been forwarded to her and she has responded by escalating the matter. We are looking at some confirmation when they get back from recess but for now we are really happy with what has already been done,” he says.