Council plan for land

The open space in Victory Close, Bernadino Heights, is used as an escape route for burglars.

Ward 6 councillor Xoliswa Pakela-Mapasa has set her sights on putting to better use two separate pockets of land in Kraaifontein.

The spaces in Victory Close, Bernadino Heights, and Sydow Street, Watsonia, have both been taken advantage of by criminals needing an escape route after targeting nearby homes.

Residents living in the Victory Close cul-de-sac fear for their lives as break-ins and robberies continue in the area.

They signed a petition last year in the hopes of getting the open space fenced off.

Ms Pakela-Mapasa has since submitted a motion to Sub-council 2 for the land to either be sold or for a facility to be built that would benefit the community.

In the motion she said this should be done before the land is invaded.

She also said that it is currently being used for criminal activities.

School children drink alcohol and abuse drugs there during school hours while gun-wielding gangsters fleeing after shootings use it as a thoroughfare.

Nearby residents have also had their property stolen, such as post boxes, outdoor furniture and pot plants, Ms Pakela-Mapasa told the sub-council.

Shireen Adams has grandchildren who would enjoy a park being built close to home, however, she wants the space closed for the safety of everyone.

“All we want is for that park area to be closed and the gates should be kept locked. I don’t mind paying for a security guard, I feel that there should be a gate where you can come in and a gate to exit.”

Ms Pakela-Mapasa submitted another motion for the rezoning of the open field in Sydow Street to a formal sports facility.

“The park issue is now with the property section who will inform me of the way forward now. So I am not sure if they will be putting fencing or not,” said Ms Pakela-Mapasa.

John Pekeur, who lives next to the open field, said he has already had someone trying to break into his garage and decided to get dogs for protection.

“The main concern is that we cannot sleep at night. One morning guys ran through here with their weapons and I am always seeing unfamiliar faces and if this piece can be closed we would know exactly what is happening around here as my wife and I are always working. At the end of the day it is not just about my safety but also for the kids around here.”

Mr Pekeur suggests that a gate be put up and monitored. He said it could be be locked by someone who is home during the day as SAPS fail to do regular patrols.

Kraaifontein SAPS did not reply to queries from Northern News about crime in the area.