Crime and grime cause concern

Concerns over alleged illegal activities in Sea Point were raised.

A group of Sea Point residents are seeing red over alleged illicit activities taking place at the corner of Olive and Main roads in Sea Point.

Residents claim that the corner just outside Sea Point Holiday Hotel had become a haven for drug peddling and prostitution.

Members of the Atlantic Seaboard Action Group planned to hold a peaceful demonstration to show their disapproval yesterday, Wednesday February 26.

Chairman of the action group, Paul Jacobson, said they wanted to mobilise the community, to stand in unity, and, to show Sea Point Holiday Hotel, that the community was unhappy with what was alleged to be happening within the confines of the hotel and about the decay and grime, outside the hotel.

He said SAPS and the community police forum (CPF) had had limited or no success in resolving the matter over many years.

Mr Jacobson said: “The decay and grime has prevailed for well over 10 years and despite some efforts made by Law Enforcement agents, there has been no resolve.

“We understand that the owner’s son is trying to make improvements, but we believe that they are minimal and only to try and quieten a concerned and forceful community,” he said.

Last Thursday, the owner’s attorney issued a legal letter to the Atlantic Seaboard Action Group and Mr Jacobson asking them to remove “defamatory, harmful and threatening statements” concerning him.

The letter stated: “You are hereby formally given notice to remove these and any similar unlawful posts and/or comments concerning or relating to Mr Ian Saevitzon (and his businesses, Sea Point Holiday Hotel and the building at 152 Main Road, Sea Point) from the aforesaid Facebook page as well as from any other social media platform or form of publication, within 24 hours of receipt of this notice.

“You are further formally cautioned to desist from the publication of (or acquiescence in the publication of) any similar statements in the future and to desist from and any harassment of or threatening conduct towards Mr Saevitzon, his family and his business.”

Ward 54 Councillor, Nicola Jowell said they were aware of the concerns from the community regarding this building. She said much of the concern related to issues that needed to be dealt with via SAPS.

“I urge community members to provide a written statement to SAPS if they are aware of criminal activity so that SAPS can take the necessary actions,” she said.

She said the hotel had been on the file of the Problem Buildings Unit for over eight years. When transgressions in terms of the Problem Buildings By-law have been identified a notice has been issued and the owner has made the necessary changes to comply. In the last month I have arranged a Fire Department inspection as well as Environmental Health. The alleged criminal activity can only be dealt with by SAPS in partnership with the affected community.”

The Sea Point Central Improvement District (CID) said they had been involved in action against this property dating back to before 2012.

“The CID has listed this property with the City of Cape Town’s Problem Building Unit on multiple occasions. The City has issued the transgressions to the owner and he has rectified the matters each time,” they said.

They said they have increased patrols around this property but could not leave a dedicated officer in this spot daily as it was not the only problem area along Main and Regent Road and they have the mandate to ensure public safety across the area. They urged residents to provide evidence to SAPS.

“The CID has listed the problem and suspected criminal dealings with the SAPS on multiple occasions as the SAPS are the only legal agency that have investigative powers. Over the last couple of years, a number of arrests have been made by the SAPS within this property,” they said.

Commenting on the matter, Sea Point police spokesperson, Captain Elizabeth Munro said they were aware of the situation at the property.

“Due to ongoing investigations, we cannot elaborate further on this matter,” she said.

Atlantic Sun was not able to reach the owner of the hotel.