Frustrated De La Haye residents may have to make peace with driving schools using their area as a practice ground — their ward councillor has advised them that legal action is not an option.
Ward 3 councillor Brendan van der Merwe has proposed a round-table discussion with residents and the driving schools to find a solution.
That was his message to residents at the De La Haye Neighbourhood Watch’s annual general meeting on Tuesday March 28.
Residents previously told Northern News that they were fed up with driving schools using their suburb – especially Romney, Frans Hals, Gainsborough and Raeburn streets – seven days a week from 7am to 8pm.
Just last month, a learner truck driver lost control of his vehicle and ended up on a resident’s front yard on the corner of Frans Hals and Wenning streets (“Learner truck drivers pose danger in De La Haye”, Northern News March 9).
Mr Van der Merwe told residents the driving schools could not be forced out of the area but an open discussion with them might resolve the issue.
Mr Van der Merwe said he had asked Sub-council 6 chairwoman Rosemary Rau to chair and arrange the meeting, but he stressed the driving schools could not be forced to attend.
That did not go down well with the residents who said it was only a matter of time until something “serious” happened.
Sean Kriel wanted to know when exactly the meeting would take place, as they had been complaining since August last year.
“We pay to live here, but what about our rights? What about our rights to peace and privacy?
“We are told there’s nothing that can be done as long as the driving school is legal, but what about our rights?” he asked.
Mr Van der Merwe said virtually nothing could be done to stop the driving schools using the area.
“This is a public road, and I do not have a right to tell anybody that they can’t use the road,” he said.
JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security; and social services, previously told Northern News that driving schools could use any public road in the city as long as they weren’t breaking the law.
The watch was unable to elect a new executive committee as it had no quorum.