MEC tours Goodwood

MEC Alan Winde with residents of Goodwood and Monte Vista during a walkabout in the area.
Community Safety MEC Alan Winde heard Goodwood civic groups’ and Monte Vista residents’ frustrations about crime and grime during a walkabout on Friday.

Faizel Petersen, chairman of the Goodwood Ratepayers’ Association (GRA), said he had arranged the walkabout  tour with Mr Winde as he felt not enough was being done to tackle problems in the area.
“We wrote to the Ward 27 and 26 councillors, City law enforcement and the Department of Community Safety. In some cases, our emails, were acknowledged and there was a commitment made to look into these matters, yet the problems are still ongoing,” he said.

Mr Petersen said he had showed Mr Winde five hot spots in Goodwood, including the Shoprite precinct between Riebeeck, Spencer and Voortrekker roads. 

“This area has become a homeless haven with the public walkways having been taken over during the day and night causing pedestrians in the road which poses a safety risk,” he said.

Another site was the Goodwood library and clinic and McDonald Street.

“This area has become another homeless campsite with many people staying there day and night,” Mr Petersen said.
Other hot spots were Voortrekker Road; Anderson Street; Station Road and Surrey Street as well as the Monte Vista bridge.
Mr Winde was also shown the unsightly state of Townsend, Betsie Verwoerd and Frans Conradie streets.
GRA committee member James Ellis said the area around a boundary wall between Monte Vista station and Acacia Park was a problem.
“I have contacted the City, but the land belongs to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa). I will be meeting with a representative from Prasa soon to discuss this issue,” he said.
Mr Ellis said alcohol abuse by vagrants living close to Townsend Street was a major concern.
“They get drunk and verbally abuse residents. We need more support from the City. There is definitely a lack of transparency with the City” he said.
Goodwood Neighbourhood Watch chairwoman, Leona van Wyk, said the neighbourhood was badly run down.
“The area is becoming a comfort zone for people wanting to engage in anti-social behaviour. Prostitution and drug peddling are rife. These acts give people the impression that anything goes in Goodwood,” she said.
Residents needed to take back the streets, she said.
“We need to work in tandem with safety and security structures to curb the issue.”    

Many elderly people were too afraid to walk in Goodwood for fear of being preyed on by criminals, she said.