King Edward Street a ‘problem’

The City has approved an application for a cell mast at Durbanville Golf Club on the corner of De Villers and Legato drives.

Sub-council 4 chairman Chris Jordaan has vowed to deal with Parow’s King Edward Street, which is notorious for drugs, prostitution and slum landlords.

He was responding to a presentation by Derek Bock, chief operations officer of the Voortrekker Road Corridor Improvement District (VRCID) at the monthly sub-council meeting in Parow, on Thursday February 16.

“If you sort out King Edward Street, most of the area’s problem’s would be sorted,” said Mr Bock.

The area is known for criminal activities, especially one block known as Home Affairs because mostly foreigners live there.

In May 2015, the Bellville police cluster came down hard on the area, following regular complaints (“Crime crackdown in Parow,” Northern News, May 13, 2015).

“I can assure you. We’re going to deal with King Edward Street,” said Mr Jordaan, but exactly how, he didn’t say.

In his presentation, Mr Bock said drug abuse, especially heroin use, was a “big problem” in the city. He said it is now done in plain sight. “If you drive now, you can see people doing it,” he told councillors.

He said the VRCID, whose inaugural five-year term is up for renewal in July, worked well with the City law enforcement, Metro police and traffic…. but not so well with Parow SAPS. “We have a problem. Ek sê dit sommer reguit. We have a problem with Parow,” he said.

VRCID has 20 cleaners sweeping the street from Bellville to Parow. Daily, the organisation also removes illegal stickers that advertise abortions.

Mr Bock said people were being paid R50 to paste the stickers on lamp poles, and it was done between 3am and 6am.

“We’ve had very good arrests. Law enforcement comes, takes them to SAPS and the City makes a case against them,” he said.

VRCID also helps many young women, mostly from the Northern Cape, who are lured to the city by false job promises.

Mr Bock said the women paid between R200 and R1 000 for the trip to Cape Town, only to find themselves dumped at Bellville taxi rank, which he described as “not a very nice place to be”.

Homeless people, he added, were being infiltrated by criminal gangs, and he appealed to the public not to give donations at the traffic lights, as it only made it easier for homeless people to stay on the street, and several had declined VRCID’s offers to get them back on their feet.

The Epping and Elsies River CIDs also presented reports to sub-council.

Mr Jordaan called on councillors to work with the CIDs and give funding where they could.

“Councillors, you have a budget, not a big budget, but if they need R200 000, R300 000, you can assist,” he said.