Bo-Kaap residents concerned about crime

Residents discuss crime and grime.

Bo-Kaap residents fed up with crime in the area are demanding answers from councillors about plans for the kraal and quarry.

The residents held a meeting last Tuesday, November 24, to raise their concerns.

They claim new people living at the kraal and the quarry continued to hold the community to ransom.

“There are alot of muggings, car break-ins and now they’ve turned to breaking into people’s properties,” said one resident.

They said they raised their concerns with the ward councillor, Brandon Golding, but nothing is being done.

The residents want a mobile station in the area as they say it is dangerous for them and tourists.

Chairman of the Bo-Kaap Neighbourhood Watch, Ebrahim Christian said he’s been complaining about the matter for the past two years. “I’m on the CPF executive and I’ve been raising this since 2018. I wrote emails to Mr Golding regarding the quarry and the kraal,” he said.

He said Mr Golding’s response has been that people there cannot be evicted because of lockdown. “But this started way before there was even a lockdown,” he said.

Mr Christian said the kraal and quarry are being used as a hideout by criminals who just came out of jail. He said they are concerned because more shacks are being erected.

City’s proportional representation (PR) councillor, Sumaya Taliep attended the meeting, saying she was assigned to deal with the matter.

Ms Taliep said crime is everybody’s responsibility and she was glad to see that it was mostly women who took a stand to protect their community. “Today, I’m here to listen. We did a walkabout with the mayor to these areas earlier this year and that’s when I learnt about the issues affecting the area,” she said.

Residents told her that they didn’t stay even 10 minutes during the walkabout.

They asked what action she would take to solve the problems.

She told them there’s no quick fix but the issues had to be addressed. “I know you’ve had quite a few engagements on this but you haven’t engaged me. My history is rooted in the Bo-Kaap and that’s why they put me here,”she said.

She said she wants to sit with residents and come up with a plan and hold people accountable. “I came here on my own, without police and law enforcement because I want to walk this road with you and understand the issues,” she said.

She invited residents to a meeting with City attorney who is dealing with the kraal and quarry sites but the residents said they must come to the area.

“I need you to give me a chance. We need a management plan against crime and grime,” she said.

Cape Town SAPS spokesperson, Ezra October said there was an increase of crime in the area and they made arrests on a daily basis, however, the sites belong to the City and all they can do is respond to residents’ complaints.

Cape Town CPF chairman Marc Truss said crime emanating from both the kraal and the quarry has increased over the past few years.

He said both areas have been problematic since 2016. The former resident who used to stay at the kraal used to keep the area clean, but after he passed away, many people moved there. He added while they understood that not everyone living on the sites was a criminal, there was a criminal element emanating from there from common robberies, to smash and grabs.

“Former ward councillor Dave Bryant tried to move the residents to Pelican Park and when he changed the wards, nothing was done,” he said. “There seems to be no will from the custodian of the property to do anything. The City seems to be caught on red tape on the matter.

In October this year, Mr Golding said they were aware of the criminal activity and the shacks that had been erected on the sites, however, their hands were tied as evictions were illegal during the lockdown. “We’re waiting for that to be lifted so that our arms can be freed in taking actions against illegal structures,” he said,