Lack of security concern

Cape Town - 180723 - Residents, Thimna Jack (16) and her niece Katye Morris (9) attend to the animals. ERF 81 in Tamboerskloof is owned by the Department of Public Works (DPW) and is home to approximately 20 dwellers and whose occupied the land more than 20 years ago. The City has now stated that the land will be used to developed social housing, but residents say their claim is "hot air. Picture: Armand Hough / African News Agency (ANA)

Residents from the informal settlement in the old military base known as Erf 81 have raised concerns over the lack of security there.

The site includes the informal settlement and a small farm area and lies between the Tamboerskloof and the Bo-Kaap communities.

A resident, who’s been staying on the site for 16 years, Rodney Jacobs, said due to the lack of security on the Bo-Kaap side, crime is getting out of hand and some people are selling drugs there.

He said the people who live on the Bo-Kaap side refused to be part of the Reclaim the City movement on the farm side because they don’t want to follow rules.

The site is owned by the national government and administered by the Department of Public Works.

He said the situation was getting out of hand as people sell and rent out shacks to others. He said those selling drugs are starting to fight each other because they don’t want competition. “If we have security here, there would be control on this site, we are fighting for our safety,” he said.

Mr Jacobs said some people commit crime in Bo-Kaap and run to their site. “This is unfair, we’re at the dangerous side, where people need security the most, we’re scared of the gangsters and people are afraid to speak up,” he said.

Mr Jacobs said he approached the Bo-Kaap Neighbourhood Watch to help them get a petition against people who come and erect shacks.

He said they tried to fight the people but the other side is not fenced so anyone can just come in.

“Fighting them is digging yourself a grave, we stay with our kids here, and it’s not safe because some of these people come from prison. Does the Public Works want people to wipe each other out before they do something about this? My life is in danger here, but the children’s lives are in more danger than mine. I’m putting my life in danger to save their lives,” he said.

Another resident, who asked not to be named, said the residents who have been staying there for long are worried that they will be forced to leave their homes because the area is becoming more dangerous.

He said police are not doing enough to solve the problem and Public Works officials are not taking the people living there seriously.

Cape Town Central police spokesperson, Captain Ezra October, said it is alleged that some perpetrators who have infiltrated the community are possibly responsible for crimes in Tamboerskloof and Bo-Kaap.

He said the sector managers of both Tamboerskloof and Bo-Kaap said there is no crime inside the farm and the informal settlement.

The spokesperson for the Department of Public Works, Thami Mchunu, said the office has been notified by community members of crime-related incidents on this site. “Security is located at the main entrance to the property to monitor access to the site and to prevent further illegal occupation, they were not placed to resolve crime-related incidents on site. Those who are affected by crime-related incidents should report such accordingly to the SAPS,” he said.

Touching on the future plans for the site, Mr Mchunu said the property is endowment property and is required for military purposes.